Hundreds of birders flocked to Berkeley this week to get a glimpse of a small black and white bird with a brilliant red breast, known as a painted redstart. The species is normally found in Arizona and has rarely been seen in Northern California. The lone bird in Berkeley is the first time this species has been seen in Alameda County. (Cal Walters / Berkeleyside)

Supporters of Felipe Valdes stand outside the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco last Monday awaiting his return after getting word that his deportation would be stayed for one year. Valdes has been eligible for a special visa for the past 10 years but only applied for it two weeks ago. He says he’s been the victim of legal malpractice and fraud, a common concern for undocumented immigrants. (Sara Lafleur-Vetter / Richmond Confidential)

Kirk Lombard of found this shark washed up last Sunday on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach near Taraval Street. It’s a salmon shark (Lamna ditropis), a species related to the great white shark. According to scientists, it’s not uncommon for juvenile salmon sharks to wash up on Northern California beaches in the fall, although they don’t know why. (Courtesy Kirk Lombard /

control burn
Forest Service firefighters work a prescribed burn in the Shasta National Forest. People who fight and study fire generally agree that one of the best tools for preventing massive wildfires is prescribed burning: intentionally setting smaller fires before the big ones hit. But fighting fire with fire is hard, partly because the window for it is short and because it affects air quality. (Molly Samuel/KQED)

The weather system that passed through Northern California this week brought a decent wetting, a glimmer of hope for a rainy season to help refill the state’s reservoirs, like Lake Shasta (above). But most California locations are still far short of average precipitation levels. If this is another dry winter state water officials say we may be looking at another drought. (Molly Samuel/KQED)

November kicks off the commercial crabbing season in the Bay Area. Central California’s crab season is typically fast and furious, in which 80 percent of the haul comes in the first four to six weeks. Previously, boats could carry an unlimited number of crab traps and local fishermen are typically joined by boats from Northern California and Oregon, where the season opens later. Under new fishery limits, each boat is allocated 500 crab traps or less based on what it’s harvested before. (Lauren Sommer/KQED)

Richmond resident Wilma Allison (right) receives a helping of cranberry sauce at Hilltop Church of Christ’s ninth annual early Thanksgiving dinner. This year’s event, which was held last Saturday, served more than 2,500 people. (Mark Andrew Boyer / Richmond Confidential)

Palo Alto residents flocked to King Plaza Saturday night, November 16, for the unveiling of Aurora, Charles Gadeken’s 32-foot interactive willow tree. The festivities included circus arts performers and ice-cream tacos. Aurora will stand in front of Palo Alto City Hall for the next year. (Naomi Elias / Peninsula Press)

A coalition announces legislation sponsored by Supervisors John Avalos, Eric Mar and David Campos to improve Muni service in underserved areas of San Francisco. (Sara Bloomberg / KQED)

News Pix: Deportation Protest, a Rare Rain — and an Even Rarer Bird 22 November,2013Katrina Schwartz



Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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