Dramatic thunderstorms on Thursday brought a record number of lightning strikes in the Bay Area, including a number on the Bay Bridge. Photo: ABC Bay Area News

Planning issues and new buildings prompted a number of this week’s most popular stories. The reopening of the North Branch library last Saturday elicited huzzahs and smiles, although the joy was soured for some by the library’s decision to remove the celebratory yarnbombing. On a larger scale, Berkeleyside commenters were generally positive about the traditional design of Acheson Commons, which will transform a whole city block downtown. The continuing debate over the future of Telegraph Avenue has a focus in this weekend’s briefing and design charrette, which Berkeleyside previewed on Wednesday. We’ll report on the results this coming week. And a Berkeley preservation battle might be looming as a group is campaigning for a ballot measure to influence the development of the Berkeley Iceland building.

There was good news for Berkeley schools this week when the school board voted to allocate $350,000 to fund threatened gardening and cooking programs at Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Washington elementary schools.

Finally, Berkeley’s talent at social innovation is on display at Mothership HackerMoms, which could be the country’s first all-women hacker space.

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.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...