Fallen trees and branches caused damage across Berkeley on Thursday night, including this tree at Bancroft and Fulton. Photo: Siciliana Trevino

Thursday’s and Friday’s extraordinarily high windsand the resulting damage — was clearly at Berkeley talking point this week, with twice as many readers as any other story. The windstorm resulted in two deaths in neighboring Oakland, but Berkeley damage was confined to property.

The winds were unusual, but not as unprecedented as one small visitor to the Elmwood. The arrival of a Painted Redstart, never before seen in Alameda County, drew eager birders to residential streets just off College Avenue. “In any regard, it’s an exciting find,” said local bird expert Bob Lewis.

That lone Painted Redstart wasn’t too far from the new fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, which opened without fanfare pre-dawn on Saturday, Nov. 16. It’s too soon to tell what the full traffic impacts will be on Berkeley, but the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology is happy: It took charge of analyzing findings from the tunnel work, and found itself with a trove of treasures from the Miocene epoch, a brief 5 to 23 million years ago (as geologists see it).

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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...