Daily Archives: February 3, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 02.03.11

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Tweeted: Sonia Sotomayor spotted in Berkeley

Supt. Bill Huyett shakes Sonya Sotomayor's hand/Photo courtesy of Mark Coplan/BUSD
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It was easy to follow Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s travels around Berkeley on Wednesday and Thursday by following Twitter. She visited some classrooms at Rosa Parks Elementary School on Wednesday, presided over a moot court competition at Zellerbach Hall on Wednesday night, visited the law school on Thursday, walked through Berkeley’s downtown and had lunch at Chez Panisse.

Here is a recap of Sotomayor’s movements as seen through the Twitter accounts of various Berkeleyans.

Wednesday 2/2

@latinageek She’s so cute! Shut up, she so is. :-D ~Justice Sotomayor visits Rosa Parks Elementary

@woonster Justice Sotomayor visited the boys’ school today – very inspiring: http://tinyurl.com/4drlqwd

@weezus Sorry I put my kids on the school bus this am and missed Sonya Sotomayor at Rosa Parks School in #Berkeley.

@berkeleyside Justice Sotomayor visits Rosa Parks Elementary http://bit.ly/gdXIFs

@paulraber So cool! Justice Sotomayor drops in on a Berkeley elementary school. http://bit.ly/em1Bhz

@californiamag Supreme Count Justice Sonia Sotomayor is on campus. Guess that explains the Homeland Security vehicles.

@blondedove85 Meeting Justice Sotomayor-coolest thing at law school so far. Got to ask her a question! She was SUPER nice. And wise.

@mattkrupnick MT @BerkeleyLawNews: Moot court competition with Sotomayor sold out: 2,000 tickets, more than 2x previous competitions.

@KALWinformant: Zellerbach hall filling in anticipation of Sotomayor, who will be presiding over law school competition

@Moshyin Uuuuugh, they wont let me in to the sonia sotomayor thing! ><

@closnai Waiting to see Justice Sotomayor. Only a few feet away!! Soo effing excited.

@EzekielSF: Wow. This UCBerkeley Moot Court competition is intense! And Justice Sotomayor is definitely grilling the participants. #UCBerkeley

@BerkeleyLawNews 2L student Thomas Frampton wins honors moot court competition. Justice Sotomayor calls him & competitor 2L Edward Piper “magnificent.” about
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UC students hold ‘die-in’ to support Egyptian protesters

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Dozens of UC Berkeley students held a rally and “die-in” on Sproul Plaza today to offer their support to the millions protesting in Egypt.

“This is to commemorate the people who died because of our aid to Egypt,” said Nuha Massri, a senior, told the crowd. She mentioned that the the U.S. gives Egypt $1.5 billion in aid each year. “This is for the students to know how we are complicit in the (things happening) in … Continue reading »

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Peggy Orenstein dissects girls’ passion for pink

Peggy Orenstein
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From her home in north Berkeley where she lives with her filmmaker husband Steven Okazaki and 7-year-old daughter Daisy, Peggy Orenstein has been opining for years for the New York Times magazine about the world of girls and feminism. Last week, her latest book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, was published and it is already climbing the bestseller list. (It will debut at #13 on the New York Times list Feb. 13) The book is both an expose of and meditation about the corporate push to market princesses and pink and early sexuality to young girls.

Orenstein just escaped the historic snows of Chicago (she got on the last plane leaving O’Hare on Tuesday) and is about to embark on the West Coast portion of her book tour. (She will be speaking Feb. 7 at St. John’s Church in Berkeley) Berkeleyside caught up with her to ask a few questions. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley bicyclists reach new height

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The Least Most, a media collective focusing on “bikes, music, art, adventure and the overall pursuit of good times” posted these wonderful pictures of the Berkeley skate park on Fifth and Harrison streets. Clearly, bikers like the park, too. We thought the photos were worth sharing. They were taken by photographer Kyle Emery-Peck.

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Berkeley cannabis collectives slapped with huge tax bills

Front entrance to Berkeley Patients Group
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The state Board of Equalization is contending that the Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest and largest medical cannabis dispensaries in California, owes $6 million in back taxes, Berkeleyside has learned.

The board claims that the dispensary on San Pablo Avenue did not pay taxes on the medical marijuana it sold from July 2004 to June 2007 and now owes $4.4 million in taxes and about $1.6 million in interest.

The charges come on the heels of a September 2010 ruling in which the Board of Equalization determined that another Berkeley cannabis collective, Patients Care Collective, had to pay $639,000 for back taxes it owed from January 1, 2005 to September 8, 2008 on the sales of cannabis and marijuana cookies.

The Berkeley Patients Group, which has about 13,000 members and serves 800 to 1,000 patients each day, is contesting the charges, according to Elisabeth Jewel, whose firm Aroner, Jewel, & Ellis advises BPG on governmental regulations. Until February 2007, the laws regarding the collection of taxes for the sale of cannabis were murky, which is why the BPG did not pay, she said.

“There is no allegation of malfeasance in terms of collecting a tax and not paying it,” said Jewel. “The Berkeley Patients Group contends it was not clear to them that they had to pay sales taxes on what they consider medicine.”

The Board of Equalization will hold a hearing on the charges at its February 22-24 meeting in Sacramento. While the board would not officially confirm there is a claim pending against BPG, a spokesman did confirm the BPG hearing was on the agenda, which has not yet been made public. Berkeleyside learned about BPG’s late tax payments from a source close to the board, who asked not to be named.

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