( KRISTOPHER SKINNER )
El Cerrito: Newsletter finds following reviewing budget wines

Art Damond, 76, started his "Wine Discoveries" newsletter in 1977, after a stint working at a now-defunct wine store in San Francisco convinced him that lower-priced varietal wines weren't getting enough attention. 
LAFAYETTE -- On homecoming night, Berean Christian scored 14 first-quarter points and didn't look back as they defeated Albany 35-14 in a Tri-County Athletic League Stone game.  
 
Maybeck Estates had no water, electricity or paved streets when Bob Shaner arrived in 1948 to build his home. A tour of the area will be held on Oct. 26  
 
All eight candidates in the race for the board that controls the town's police and community services district have agreed not to take campaign contributions from police officers.  
 
Candidates for this unincorporated area's police and community services board want a focus on the district's financial problems, but disagree as to whether the current board is addressing them.  
 
MONDAY, OCT. 6 PEDESTRIAN CHECK, ARREST -- A check of a pedestrian at Albany Hill Gas on San Pablo Avenue culminated in the arrest of a Pinole man on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and more than 28.  
 
The first competitive council election in six years leaves us wanting for more candidates. We credit Nicholas Arzio for questioning the Measure R sales tax deception. Arzio says he'll vote for Measure R; we oppose it. But we agree that the issue is transparency.  
 
Cat Town is coming to Oaktown! On Oct. 25, the country's first cat cafe will open at 2869 Broadway, right in the heart of Oakland's Auto Row.The idea is to get the kitties out of their cages at Oakland's overburdened and underfunded animal shelter and into a less intimidating environment.  
 
Our local community colleges received an early Halloween treat when the Peralta Community College District learned that its public information department had won two regional first place awards and its cable TV station, Peralta TV, a national silver medal for best college television program.  
 
Everyone can participate in a coordinated emergency readiness drill being hosted by Berkeley and Albany from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 18.  
 
( Alison Rosa/Fox Searchlight )
Review: 'Birdman' soars with innovative brilliance

With a cast that includes Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis, this surreal head-tripper is one of 2014's most innovative movies, an energetic and exciting existential black comedy that's challenging yet accessible and wildly successful in the risks it takes.