( Chris Treadway )
Berkeley hills site a haven for endangered native plants

The Regional Parks Botanic Garden, within Tilden Regional Park's Wildcat Canyon, has many rare native specimens, such as the Santa Lucia fir, the false lily-of-the-valley, and the Antioch dunes evening-primrose, the only source of food for the Lange's metalmark butterfly.  
San Souci, who wrote the story for the Disney film "Mulan" and more than 100 books for young readers, died unexpectedly on Dec. 19.  
 
Magician Mike Della Penna. Mike Della Penna has been delighting family audiences with his magic since 2004. He's silly, funny, and will make you go wow.  
 
Berkeleyans celebrated Christmas quietly 75 years ago, Dec. 25, 1939. Christmas Day fell on a Monday that year.Mayor Frank Gaines enjoined locals to "Let's have every window bright with light this Christmas Eve -- America's 'Night of Light.  
 
Montreal takes notice of soda taxWhen Berkeley became the first city in the nation in November to impose a soda tax, boosters predicted it would spawn copycat tax drives throughout the U.  
 
BERKELEY -- A 20-year-old man who was found dead in the heart of the University of California at Berkeley's fraternity and sorority residential area early Saturday was from San Ramon, according to online posts.  
 
Albany Albany Senior Center -- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. 846 Masonic Ave. The center will be closed Dec. 26 and 31, and Jan. 1. and Jan. 2. Papier maché, bridge, needlecrafts, world events, literature.  
 
A subcommittee of Berkeley City Council members Max Anderson, Laurie Capitelli, Linda Maio and Darryl Moore will set up a panel of health, nutrition and health experts to recommend to the council how to spend proceeds of Measure D, which passed with overwhelming voter approval on Nov. 4  
 
All lanes of Interstate highway 80 in Berkeley are open this morning after a traffic collision sent at least one person to Highland Hospital with a major head injury, according to the California Highway Patrol.  
 
When Sony Pictures caved in last week to North Korea's extortionate demands to yank "The Interview" from distribution, my thoughts turned to Salman Rushdie.