Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Monday, 27 January 2014

1. California ranchers fear drought disaster
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

Rangeland ecology and management professor Lynn Huntsinger collaborated on a survey on 511 ranchers in California, finding that more than third of them "expect devastating impacts to their operations" from the drought currently afflicting the state. Two drier-than-normal winters already led many ranchers to cull their herds; another will force them to cull further in order to stay in business. Full Story

2. Op-Ed: Rail alone can't reinvent L.A.
Los Angeles Times

Climate policy associate Ethan Elkind writes about the billions of dollars being invested in the construction of a rail network in the Los Angeles area. "But these billions risk being wasted if city leaders do not promote, and residents do not allow, new growth around rail stations and corridors," he says. "Why? Rail is expensive to build, operate and maintain compared with other forms of transit. It only becomes cost-effective with high ridership. And the best way to boost ridership is to locate new jobs, housing and retail near stations." Full Story

3. For Los Angeles, list is a first step toward improved quake safety
Los Angeles Times

After UC researchers gave the city of Los Angeles a list of 1,500 older concrete buildings that may require further examination for earthquake safety, the Los Angeles Times has published an interactive map using the data. The researchers emphasize that not all buildings on the list are necessarily vulnerable. Instead, it is a list of concrete structures built before 1976 that require further assessment. UC Berkeley architecture professor Mary Comerio, one of the project's lead scientists, said a major earthquake centered underneath downtown Los Angeles on the Puente Hills thrust fault could kill between 300 to 2,000 people in concrete buildings and cause about $20 billion in losses, but that retrofitting the buildings would reduce the projected death toll to five to 50 people and reduce losses to about $6 billion. Another story on this topic aired on KPCC (Southern California Public Radio). Full Story

4. Wealth gap: A guide to what it is, why it matters
Washington Post

A Q&A about the much discussed wealth gap begins with a citation of data compiled by economics professor Emmanuel Saez, who found that incomes for the highest-earning 1 percent of Americans soared 31 percent from 2009 through 2012, after adjusting for inflation. Full Story

5. Proposal to Raise Tip Wages Resisted
International New York Times

Labor economist Sylvia Allegretto is cited in an article about the minimum wage for employees who receive tips. She found that there were 3.3 million tipped workers nationwide, two million of them waiters, and that their median compensation was $9.22 an hour, including tips and tip wage. “It’s extremely variable — if you’re working third shift in a diner in a truck stop in Nebraska versus if you’re working at a steakhouse in D.C.,” she said, adding that 72 percent of waiters are women. Full Story

6. For Obama, Investing in Brighter Futures Remains a Tough Sell
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Business professor Laura D’Andrea Tyson comments on President Obama's inability to increase public investment in areas that would benefit the long-term economic prospects of the middle class. “It has not been possible to significantly shift the needle,” she says. “We should be raising those levels, and we’re not. ... I guess the good news is that the share hasn’t been plummeting.” Full Story

7. Bernanke leaves legacy of stimulus and stagnation
Los Angeles Times

Public policy professor Robert Reich comments on Ben Bernanke's service as chair of the Federal Reserve: "I salute Bernanke and the rest of the Fed in understanding their obligations to try to reduce unemployment as best as they can." He wonders, however, how much monetary policy can bring down unemployment or lift workers' incomes without the assistance of fiscal policy. With so little help from Congress, he says: "I'm glad Bernanke and Co. chose an expansionary monetary policy. ... I think history will show the Fed's policy fueled widening inequality for the single reason that most average people didn't have access to low-interest loans. ... Wealthy people and corporations could borrow far more easily." Full Story

8. Money Beat Blog: When a Giant Gain Causes Pain
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

A story about the psychology of investing concludes with a quote by business and finance professor Terrence Odean: "Investors should diversify emotionally as well as financially.” Full Story

9. Dance Card: Martha Graham Company returns to Berkeley with 'Appalachian Spring' on tap
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

Cal Performances will present The Martha Graham Dance Company at Zellerbach Hall on Friday and Saturday. It will be a rare Bay Area appearance -- only the third in more than a decade. The program will feature two midcentury masterpieces, "Appalachian Spring" and "Cave of the Heart," and Graham's last complete work, 1990's "Maple Leaf Rag." Members of the Berkeley Symphony will provide accompaniment on all three pieces under the direction of Aaron Sherber. Marni Thomas Wood, director emeritus of the dance company and co-founder with her husband David Wood of Berkeley's dance program, will present a free talk about the Martha Graham dance technique on Friday. For more information, visit: www.calperformances.org. Full Story

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