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, 24 June 2014

1. Brown's water tunnel job claims generating controversy
Los Angeles Times

A study by Berkeley agricultural and resource economics professor Dave Sunding predicts that construction of the Bay-Delta Conservation Project would create an average of about 15,500 jobs a year over a decade of construction and habitat restoration, and once built it will make water supplies more reliable and spur an additional 19,600 jobs a year over 50 years. Full Story

2. Sudden oak death drying up with drought
San Francisco Chronicle

The drought is helping scientists like adjunct environmental science, policy and management professor Matteo Garbelotto fight sudden oak death, a disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of oak trees in California. "This is a little bit of a positive because it gives us an opportunity to see and attack the weakest link of the disease -- that is, when the populations really, really shrink," the director of Berkeley's Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory says. "The pathogen hates the drought. It's like an outbreak of influenza. When it is cold and wet, people get sick. We know that when it is dry, we do not have outbreaks." Another story on this topic appeared in NBC Bay Area Online. Full Story

3. Do hidden cracks imperil Bay Bridge?
Sacramento Bee

Engineering professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, a well-known expert in the seismic performance of steel bridges, and colleagues have spent thousands of hours analyzing and modeling the new suspension span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and concluded that it would not survive the ultimate seismic test. He says the span's “self-anchored” design is the crux of the problem. “I don’t know any other major bridge located in a seismic area that is fracture-critical," he says. "We cannot have cracks in the welds -- period.” Full Story

4. Spreading the Buzz About Native Bees
Bay Nature

Environmental science, policy and management professor Gordon Frankie is interviewed about the work of his Urban Bee Lab. His team has spent more than a decade raising awareness about California's diverse and productive native bees, which could make up for the work honeybees are no longer doing. "We have one of the richest bee-flower faunas in the world," he says. "We have 5,000 species of flowering plants in California — 6,000 if you count subspecies, varieties, and hybrids — and the vast majority are pollinated by native bees because they evolved with them. If we have enough time and enough good people cooperating, we’ll have very good pollination by native bees in the future." This article honors National Pollinator Week. Full Story

5. Autism Risk Higher Near Pesticide-Treated Fields
Scientific American

Associate adjunct public health professor Kim Harley comments on a new UC Davis study that has linked autism to environmental exposures to pesticides, complementing a study Professor Harley had done earlier. In 2007, she and her colleagues had found a two-fold increase in pervasive developmental disorders (the larger group to which autism belongs) among 531 children in California’s Salinas Valley whose mothers’ urine had higher levels of organophosphate pesticides. She says now: “The weight of evidence is beginning to suggest that mothers’ exposures during pregnancy may play a role in the development of autism spectrum disorders.” Full Story

6. Will Commercial Cars See With Laser-Powered Eyes?
IEEE Spectrum

A new 3D imaging system co-developed by electrical engineering graduate student Behnam Behroozpour can remotely sense objects 10 times farther than what is currently achieved with comparable low-power laser systems. In addition to applications in robotics and self-driving cars, the technology offers promise for smartphones and video games as well. Full Story

7. Even encrypted Web traffic can reveal highly sensitive information

A study co-authored by Berkeley electrical engineering and computer science researchers Brad Miller, A.D. Joseph and J.D. Tygar has found that analyzing encrypted Web traffic could reveal highly sensitive private information. The paper also forecasts ways that privacy on the Internet may erode. Full Story

8. New 'forest fire' attacks might pose a big threat to your personal Facebook security

Computer science doctoral students Neil Zhenqiang Gong and Di Wang have written a paper about the security of trustee-based social authentications, such as Facebook's "trusted contacts" program, and found potential security vulnerabilities. Their paper suggests ways both users and the company could make the systems more secure. Full Story

9. Tuition financial aid on the way for middle-class California families
Los Angeles Times

An article about the increasing availability of financial aid for students from middle-income families in California mentions that UC Berkeley has added some aid for families who make more than $100,000 a year. Berkeley student Disha Banik says she was rejected for financial aid in the past but expects that she will be eligible for the new program. Her family has felt "a level of financial stress in paying for college," she says. "I don't mean to take away from the struggles for low-income families, but I think a lot of the costs are falling on the middle class." Full Story

10. Heald, WyoTech, Everest schools will remain open under agreement with feds
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

Education Professor Emeritus Norton Grubb comments on the pending closure of a for-profit colleges chain that has allegedly altered grades, falsified job placement reports and promised prospective students well-paying careers that were never realized. He says the closure and ownership changes are "a great thing," adding: "A lot of the for-profit colleges don't do any good for students. They kind of prey on low income and minority kids and leave them with federal loans they can never get rid of. These are corrupt institutions." Full Story

11. Op-Ed: Freed POW left a war the U.S. public abandoned years before
Sacramento Bee

Journalism Dean Edward Wasserman writes about the freeing of POW Bowe Berghdahl and the ensuing controversy. He says: "What's astonishing to me, as a child of the '60s, is how isolated and forlorn seem his voice and the other voices of dissent from the Millennial generation, the young people who heeded the call after 9/11 and were terribly misused. Whether it's Bowe Bergdahl, Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden, these 20-somethings stepped up, and when they were appalled by what they were told to do, had nobody who understood their pain and to whom they could appeal. ... Bowe Berghdahl, it seems clear, went through hell after abandoning a war that -- for all our supposedly information-rich media saturation -- little of the public knows much about at all. He walked away from a war the rest of us had abandoned years before." Full Story

12. Op-Ed: The Twin Insurgency
The American Interest

Associate Chancellor Nils Gilman writes about the "twin insurgencies," -- one plutocratic, the other criminal -- that work "to carve out de facto zones of autonomy for themselves by crippling the state’s ability to constrain their freedom of (economic) action." Full Story

13. Bay Area Book Festival to launch in Berkeley in 2015

A Bay Area Book Festival is being planned for downtown Berkeley in 2015. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks attended a launch party on June 21 and said he was thrilled that the university would be partnering with the festival and community. We hope this will be kicked off with huge success and become one of the great literary events anywhere in the world.” The UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund had already awarded the festival a $25,000 grant. Full Story

14. Donald Olsen: A Berkeley architect of high modernism

Pierluigi Serraino, the author of a recent book about Berkeley Architecture Professor Emeritus Donald Olsen, is interviewed. Published by William Stout (2013), the book is called Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions. Asked to summarize Olsen's style, the author says: "If we are seeking a label for his architecture, he is strictly modernist. His emotional and cultural allegiance is to the modernist avant-garde of the 1920s and 30s, with Bauhaus and Le Corbusier as the most evident references. What distinguishes Olsen’s work from that lineage, however, is how low-key his spaces are. They are so comfortable and welcoming. Nothing speaks of the stereotypical coldness of the glass box, so widely denounced as mid-century modern was in decline. Nature is always integrated in those layouts and deeply responsive to orientation and climate." Full Story

15. 'Classical Style' review: Hitting funny bone of opera history
San Francisco Chronicle

A review of "The Classical Style," the headline event in Cal Performances' Ojai North festival this past weekend, says the performance at Hertz Hall was "superb" -- "a dazzling display of inventiveness and broad comical delight." Another rave review appeared in the Contra Costa Times. Full Story

16. Dance Card: Choreographer Daria Kaufman leaves the Bay Area, but Arianne MacBean returns
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

An ensemble dance program, "In her tower," will include a premiere score by Berkeley music professor Ken Ueno at the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco Friday and Saturday. The piece is called "Restless Myth" and its score will be accompanied by a solo performance of choreographer and dancer Daria Kaufman. Full Story

Today's Edition of UC Berkeley in the News