Berkeley  firefighters filled over 800 bags with holiday groceries for seniors on Dec. 22 Photo: Kaia Diringer
Berkeley firefighters filled over 800 bags with holiday groceries for seniors on Dec. 22 Photo: Kaia Diringer

With Christmas falling on Tuesday, it was a slow week in Berkeley. Berkeleyside took the end of the year opportunity to take a look back. Our story on the best images of 2012 let us once again display some stellar photographs. Our story recapping the major events of 2012 had enough intrigue and deception to populate a spy novel.

The most significant news of the week may be the retirement of Fire Chief Debra Pryor, who departed Friday after working for the city for 27 years. A few commentators complained about her $170,000 annual pension, but there is no doubt that Pryor served the city with dedication. She started out as a temporary file clerk for the Rent Stabilization Board in 1985, but soon became Berkeley’s first female firefighter. She had other firsts as well: as a  paramedic and paramedic supervisor and as the first woman to hold the titles of lieutenant, captain, assistant chief, deputy chief and fire chief.

The city also had the unfortunate distinction of having 32 robberies in 30 days.

And for those of you who missed the absolutely delightful, often hilarious, and continuously entertaining talk by the Three Michaels of Berkeley – Michael Lewis, Michael Pollan, and Michael Chabon, we posted a podcast of the Dec. 10 event. Sedge Thomson of West Coast Live, with his magnificent baritone voice, was the moderator.

It’s the end of the year. Please consider supporting those organizations that make your life a little better. Berkeleyside works hard at providing a steady stream of local news. If you like what we do, please support us and become a Member of Berkeleyside. Members get invited to special parties, get first dibs and discounts on tickets to events, a behind-the-scenes newsletter, and the knowledge that a contribution will keep local news reporting flowing

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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...