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.

Friday, 7 February 2014

1. Cal football player dies after training run
San Francisco Chronicle

The UC Berkeley campus is mourning the loss of Ted Obinna Agu, a Cal football player and public health major, who died Friday morning. Agu was a defensive lineman from Bakersfield who came to Berkeley in 2010. "This is a very difficult time for our football family," Coach Sonny Dykes said. "Ted was a remarkable young man and a member of this family who was highly respected and loved by his teammates and coaching staff. He had an incredible passion for life and will be deeply missed." Other articles appeared in the NBC Bay Area Online and San Jose Mercury News. Full Story

2. Ten Bay Area engineers elected to National Academy of Engineering
San Francisco Business Times

Three Berkeley professors have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. They are civil engineering professor Carlos Daganzo, mechanical engineering professor Karl Hedrick, and civil and environmental engineering professor Jack Moehle. Professor Daganzo was honored for his work on traffic, transport and logistics; Professor Hedrick for his work on control methods for nonlinear systems with application to practical problems; and Professor Moehle for his work on earthquake protection for buildings. With these new elections, UC Berkeley now claims 97 academy members among its faculty. Full Story

3. Emerging Voices 2014: Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Rael San Fratello
The Architectural League NY

Architecture professor Ronald Rael and his wife, Virginia San Fratello, have been recognized as 2014 Emerging Voices for their work at the firm Rael San Fratello, which they cofounded in 2002. The award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. They will discuss their work at the Emerging Voices 2014 event on March 13, 2014, in New York. Full Story

4. UC Berkeley Researchers Study Kelp For Possible Radiation From Japan Fukushima Plant
KCBS Radio

Kelp Watch 2014, a new project co-founded by nuclear engineering professors Kai Vetter and Keenan Thomas, will study the extent of radioactive contamination of the state's coastal kelp forest from Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. Professor Vetter, also head of applied nuclear physics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been measuring radioactivity from Fukushima in California since the accident, and he expects the levels found in kelp to be minimal. Link to audio. Full Story

5. Forum with Michael Krasny: Sochi Olympics: Security Concerns Persist
KQED Radio

Public policy professor Michael Nacht, a former assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, joins a discussion of security concerns at the Sochi Olympics. NPR's White House correspondent Tamara Keith, currently in Sochi covering the Olympics, also joins the discussion. She is a Berkeley alum. Link to audio. Full Story

6. How Olympians Stay Motivated
The Atlantic

Teri McKeever, Berkeley's head swimming coach, is quoted in a story about how Olympic athletes stay motivated. "The women that I’ve worked with that medal are the ones that really enjoy the process," she says. “They enjoy the working out as much as they enjoy the competition. They love that idea of pushing the limits and learning and being challenged emotionally and physically." She adds: "Everyone’s gonna fail or get beat or get injured or whatever, but [successful athletes] figure out how to reframe it so that it can be a positive thing instead of a negative thing. ... Failure and setbacks and struggles are where all the good stuff happens, if you can take that approach.” Full Story

7. Economix Blog: The Challenges of Running Responsible Supply Chains
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

Business professor Laura D'Andrea Tyson writes about factory tragedies, such as the one that killed more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh last year, and subsequent efforts to improve safety standards. "Sustained progress to improve working conditions in global supply chains requires engagement on all fronts: by multinational buyers, national governments, local factory owners, labor, consumers and international organizations," she says. "Better Work, a joint venture of the International Labor Organization and the International Finance Corporation, is an example of what is needed." Full Story

8. China Real Time Report Blog: China’s Rubble-Strewn Path to Land Reform
Wall Street Journal Online

Law lecturer Stanley Lubman writes about the Chinese government's recent pledge to reform land laws and expand peasants' rights, which he says will be a "major challenge to carry out." Full Story

9. Growing insects: Farmers can help bring back pollinators
Christian Science Monitor

Environmental science, policy and management professor Claire Kremen is cited in a story about ways that farmers can help support pollinators. Her research has shown that hedgerows of native shrubs and wildflowers can produce a big bump in pollinator abundance and variety, with the effect spilling over 100 meters into adjacent fields, but that the strategy can take eight years to work. Polyculture, the opposite of monoculture, could also produce a broad recovery of pollinators, she says, but it would require major changes in modern agriculture. She notes that it already works on a small scale in California’s Salinas Valley, where growers "have a few rows of this, a few rows of that," with maybe 20 different crops growing on a 10-acre plot. Full Story

10. Execution Chaos: Witnesses Say Executions Are Botched as States Use Untested, Secret Drug Cocktails
Democracy Now!

Megan McCracken, the Eighth Amendment Resource Counsel with the law school's Death Penalty Clinic, joins a discussion of the controversy over U.S. executions that are being conducted with untested combinations of drug injections. The crisis has arisen since previously used drugs became unavailable. Link to video. Full Story

11. Tech Chronicles Blog: Artists: We’ve been thrown under the tech buses
San Francisco Chronicle Online

Mission Local, a Mission District blog associated with Berkeley's journalism school, held a contest late last year to turn tech buses into art for a $500 prize. When the winner was announced yesterday, a controversy erupted. Full Story

12. Op-Ed: Careful, California voters, your wishes are under attack
Los Angeles Times

Jennifer Gratz, the founder and CEO of XIV Foundation, writes about California's plan to put a referendum on the ballot to repeal parts of Proposition 209, which banned consideration of race and ethnicity in public college admissions. She says: "Although the share of underrepresented minorities in the UC system dropped from 20% before the ban to 18.6% in 1997, by 2008 it had rebounded to 25%, with an 18% rise in graduation rates among minorities. The numbers at the elite UC Berkeley and UCLA campuses have not fully recovered to pre-Proposition 209 numbers, but they have made considerable progress. Moreover, both were listed in U.S. News & World Report's Economic Diversity Among the Top 25 Ranked Schools for the 2011-12 year, with the highest percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell grants." Full Story

13. Berkeley residents unite in 'night-walks' to fight crime
KTVU Online

A group of Berkeley residents concerned about crime in the city has begun organizing occasional nighttime walks around downtown and campus areas, handing out leaflets with safety tips. Organizer Anton Burrell, of Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action, says: "We have to do something. ... We're not going to stay in our house, lock the door, no, it's our community." Such walks are part of a "Ceasefire" crime reduction strategy adopted by Oakland and other cities. Full Story

14. Discovering ‘The Possible’ at Berkeley Art Museum

An interactive art project called The Possible is taking place at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive over the next four months. The event is a series of encounters involving nearly 100 artists and museumgoers organized by Oakland illustrator David Wilson. Built around Sunday workshops on various art mediums and ranging inside and outside the museum, it is designed to involve children in the creative process. “It is the antithesis of a typical museum, with different things happening every day, even every minute,” says BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder. “It’s a wonderful challenge to this institution and how we do things on every level, even how we say what The Possible is. It’s only been up a week now and goodness know how the next four months will unfold. We’ll learn a lot about what’s possible and what’s not possible for a museum to do.” Full Story

15. Behind Pete Seeger, a formative father and mother
Los Angeles Times

An article about Pete Seeger's parental influences includes a description of his father's time at Berkeley. Charles Seeger was a musicologist who led the newly-created music department from 1911 until he "had worn out his welcome" on campus. He had been a pacifist during World War I and an activist supporter of farm workers in the Central Valley. As head of the music department, he staged Dada-style events, experimented with free rhythms, dissonant counterpoint and progressive percussion, explored music of other cultures, and pioneered the study of ethnomusicology. His most important student, Henry Cowell, created the California School of musical inclusiveness and experimentalism, and Cowell's two most prominent students were John Cage and Lou Harrison. Full Story

Today's Edition of UC Berkeley in the News