A picture-imperfect holiday

Off the Beat

My holiday season always begins the same way — I sit impatiently in an almost-empty BART train car hurtling itself away from the chaotic streets of Downtown Berkeley to the sleepy suburbs of the South Bay. Phone in hand, I scroll absentmindedly through my Instagram feed, sifting through perfectly filtered
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BART board approves new police contract, increases salaries

The contract includes a one-time salary increase of six percent and annual raises from 2.5-2.75 percent over the course of the contract, and extends an incentive program that provides new officers a $10,000 hiring bonus. BART said in a press release that the agreement comes as police officer salaries are rising nationwide, and that the agreement brings BART officers closer to Bay Area averages.
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Picks of the Week: Treats and tunes for the 1st week of November

On Monday, make a playlist. Pack it full of songs from Billboard’s hit chart, Spotify’s Discover Weekly and your friends’ list of favorites. Set it to play while you walk to pick up the week’s groceries or to Starbucks for your first holiday drink of the season — my choice is a classic peppermint mocha, with whipped cream, of course.
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Close encounters

Laid Bear

I looked out of the bus and saw a woman walking with five pugs scurrying ahead of her on leashes. The man sitting beside me noticed me curiously observing the legion of canines. “Did you know that 68 percent of all American households have pets?” he asked me as the
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