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The Year in Review

We break down the East Bay’s best, worst, and weirdest stories of 2014.


Bob Sansoe





By the Numbers

Millions of dollars made by the film When the Game Stands Tall, starring Jim Caviezel as De La Salle football coach Bob Ladouceur.

Length in miles of the Iron Horse Trail, when the final 1.8–mile gap was completed in August.

Millions of dollars General Mills paid to purchase Berkeley-based packaged organic snack-maker Annie’s Homegrown.

Chris Majors Photography

Celebrity Encounters

The Spiritual Leader: Dalai Lama
On a speaking tour in the Bay Area, the Buddhist teacher told a crowd of 3,000 at Berkeley High how to achieve happiness.

The Monster: Godzilla
Observant sci-fi fans noted that one of the film’s radiation-eating creatures passed through Livermore. We assume it was just paying a friendly visit to the lab.

The Actor: Bill Murray
Murray took over driving a cab on a ride from Oakland to Sausalito so the cabbie could get in some saxophone practice. They stopped for barbecue on the way.

The Man on the Moon: Buzz Aldrin
Astronaut Aldrin spoke at an Apollo 11 anniversary celebration in Alameda aboard the USS Hornet, the ship that retrieved the crew following splashdown.

The First Kid: Malia Obama
The president’s daughter toured UC Berkeley and Stanford. Rumor has it, she preferred Cal, but we understand if she doesn’t decide until after she sees the outcome of the Big Game.

Courtesy of The Miss America Organization

We’re Number One

UC Berkeley economics professor Janet Yellen became the first woman chair of the Federal Reserve.

Las Lomas High alum Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America.

Pleasanton-raised Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants hit the first grand slam by a shortstop in postseason history.

Cat Town Café, America’s first permanent cat café (on the heels of the Japanese trend), opened in Oakland.

Uptown Oakland was named the greatest neighborhood in California by the American Planning Association, for its popularity, green and mixed-use development, and cultural arts.

Five Serious Questions We Asked Each Other This Year

1: Should we be able to end our own suffering?
Cal graduate Brittany Maynard, who had terminal brain cancer, chose to end her life under Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act.

2: Will we have enough water?
The California drought entered its third year, with winter forecasted to be light on precipitation.

3: Who determines what we drink?
A proposed tax on soda in Berkeley was countered by a $1.7 million campaign from beverage companies, but passed in November.

4: Will we learn to BYOB (bring your own bag)?
Walnut Creek becomes the fifth city in Contra Costa to ban single-use plastic shopping bags and charge 10 cents for paper.

5: What is a fair wage for big-game entertainment?
Alameda resident and Raiderette Lacy T. sued the Oakland Raiders and won for unpaid time at required practices and appearances.

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