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.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

1. SFGate Blog: Berkeley voters overturn “gerrymandering”
San Francisco Chronicle Online

UC Berkeley students and South Berkeley tenants were among a group of about 7,800 voters who signed a referendum last week, putting a City Council redistricting plan on hold, at least temporarily. The controversial aspect of the plan for Berkeley students was the shift of boundaries for District 7, which would separate student groups, putting most fraternities and sororities in one district, and moving most student housing cooperatives into another. Berkeley senior James Chang, an official with the Berkeley Student Cooperative housing nonprofit, said many co-op residents felt they wouldn’t receive fair representation in city government if they were excluded from the so-called student district. “We want to make sure that co-ops are not shut out of the democratic process in Berkeley. ... We want a voice on the city council.” Full Story

2. Op-Ed: Expanding pre-kindergarten in California would be money well spent
Sacramento Bee

Public policy professor David Kirp advocates legislation introduced in the California Senate that calls for a year of guaranteed, high-quality preschool for all through an expanded transitional kindergarten, or TK, program, and the redirection of existing funds to support at-risk children during the crucial first three years of their lives. He cites data supporting the claim that children who go to preschool are 80 percent more likely to attend college, 23 percent more likely to be employed and earn 33 percent more than those who didn't attend, as well as an estimate that there would be 13,000 fewer prisoners with universal preschool. Full Story

3. Even Among the Richest of the Rich, Fortunes Diverge
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Berkeley research co-authored by economics professor Emmanuel Saez informs an article about income divergence between the top 1 percent and 0.1 percent. Full Story

4. Blog: Wall Street is crippling itself!

Public policy professor Robert Reich explains how a soaring stock market can coincide with bad jobs reports. "What’s bad for Main Street and good for Wall Street in the short term is bad for both in the long term," he concludes. "The American economy is at a crawl. Median household incomes are dropping. The American middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. And as companies focus ever more on short-term share prices at the expense of long-term growth, we’re in for years of sluggish performance. ... When, if ever, will Wall Street learn?" Full Story

5. Early California Wildfires Jeopardize Homes and Vineyards
Bloomberg Businessweek

Forestry specialist Bill Stewart weighs in on what is expected, with the drought, to be the worst fire season in California's history. He says fires could damage critical power lines and cause blackouts, disrupt water supplies and destroy sensitive ecosystems. Full Story

6. San Quentin's inmate-run newspaper suspended over photo controversy
Marin Independent Journal

San Quentin State Prison officials temporarily suspended the inmate-produced newspaper at the prison after a disapproved photo was published. Journalism professor Bill Drummond, an advisor to the paper, said the suspension was overkill and has had a devastating effect on inmate morale. "The picture in question has no salacious content," he says. "The picture they published was the same content of an inmate and volunteer. ... It's an unfortunate and unhappy incident." Full Story

7. Academic Minute: Jupiter's Red Spot
Inside Higher Ed

Mechanical engineering professor Philip Marcus explains the persistence of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Link to audio. Full Story

8. The Big Questions: Does Antimatter Fall Up?
Slate Magazine

A response to the question, "If you drop antimatter, which way does it fall?" quotes physics professor Joel Fajans. If one could conduct with antimatter an experiment such as Galileo did when he dropped balls off Italian towers, Professor Fajans says: "That would be the greatest revolution in physics in the past 20 to 30 years." His interviewer asks: "Bigger than the discovery of the Higgs boson?" and he replies: "Oh yeah, no question. There's a very low probability but an enormous reward if antimatter were to gravitate differently than we expect." Full Story

9. Ticker Blog: U. of Wisconsin at Madison Leads in Number of Peace Corps Volunteers
Chronicle of Higher Education Online (*requires registration)

UC Berkeley continues to lead all other colleges and universities in the cumulative number of alumni having served in the Peace Corps, with 3,576 volunteers since the corps' founding in 1961. Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources, including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Full Story

10. Cal football to honor Ted Agu
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

A candlelight service will honor Cal football player Ted Agu Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza adjacent to Memorial Stadium. The 21-year-old junior defensive end died Friday morning after a routine team training run. The cause of death has not yet been determined. Another campus memorial is being planned. Another story on this topic appeared in the Berkeley Patch, and a story about a memorial fund to help Agu's family appeared in Bakersfield Now. Full Story

11. Berkeley Authors’ Dinner honors writers and library staff

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and his wife, associate history professor Janaki Bakhle, were honorary chairs of the Berkeley Public Library's 12th annual Authors' Dinner Saturday night. Full Story

12. UC Berkeley’s Azaad Wins Top Prize at Boston’s South Asian Showdown Competition
India New England

Berkeley's student dance troupe Azaad won first place and a $2,000 prize in the South Asia Showdown dance competition in Boston Saturday night. Azaad, which means independence or freedom, combines Indian classical, folk, and modern styles of dance and aims to connect audiences with Bollywood culture. Full Story

13. Taking the Kids: Science center infested with giant bugs
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

"Xtreme Bugs," an exhibit featuring more than 100 live and animatronic bugs in naturalistic habitats, has opened at the Lawrence Hall of Science. According to the writer: "Among the Bay Area's great assortment of zoos and science centers, the Lawrence Hall of Science is an overlooked gem -- and not just because of the creative and detailed "Xtreme Bugs" exhibit (which runs until Sept. 1 and also features the digital theater feature "Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure"). ... The permanent displays, exhibits and playrooms absolutely capture the imagination, are usually interactive and are displayed in a way that doesn't overload a kid's brain over the course of an afternoon." Full Story

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