Daily Archives: April 19, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 04.19.11

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Measuring a Berkeleyan carbon footprint

Carbon footprint
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A recent research paper by UC Berkeley’s Christopher Jones and Dan Kammen looks at the impact location and lifestyle has on your household’s carbon footprint. The point of the research isn’t to state the obvious: that, for example, a couple living in an urban area with good public transportation has a very different footprint to a family of four living in car-dependent suburbia. Instead it looks at how different strategies for carbon footprint reduction are needed depending on where and how you live.

So what does it mean for a Berkeleyan? Helpfully, Jones and Kammen have worked with the California Air Resources Board to create a carbon footprint calculator that focuses on Californian lifestyles, which is part of an online community called CoolClimate Network. CoolClimate Network is a project of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the university.

“Our primary message is simple:If you are concerned about reducing your carbon footprint, or the carbon footprint of others through policy, it is important to focus on the actions that lead to the greatest reductions,” Kammen told UC Berkeley NewsCenter. “Our online tool can help people do just that.” … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Death of UC student prompts friends to fight for change

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Last Friday, UC Berkeley junior Jasmine Jahanshahi, who had been studying in France, died in a tragic fire in Paris that spread to her room in through the Labyrinth Estate apartments in the Menilmontant neighborhood in the 20th arrondissement. She was 20. Her friend and fellow exchange student, Louise Brown, also perished. Rachel Gross, a Cal senior and frequent Berkeleyside contributor, remembers Jahanshahi and joins her friends in calling for Parisian authorities to make changes.

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Berkeley creates new one-stop web page for info

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The recent passage of a new sunshine ordinance has prompted the city of Berkeley to launch a new one-stop web page where residents can find information on meetings, agendas, and correspondence between officials.

The page “acts as a clearinghouse for the various documents and information guaranteed to citizens under the Berkeley Open Government Ordinance.”

In addition to links to the city council agenda and meeting schedule, it has links to the public records … Continue reading »

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A 33-year-old woman who worked for the Berkeley Unified School District was killed in a drive-by shooting Monday night as she walked by an Oakland park.

Beatrice Burton, who worked at Oxford Elementary School and in the central kitchen of the Nutrition Services Department, was shot around 9:48 pm as she was walking near Poplar Park in West Oakland, according to the Oakland Tribune. She was walking with a friend, who was not shot.

Burton’s boyfriend was nearby and he rushed her to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead around 10:30, according to the Tribune.

“The tragic death of Beatrice Burton is a loss for the BUSD family,” said Mark Coplan, the district spokesman. “She was beloved by those who worked closely with her and appreciated by those who just knew her in passing.”

The district is working with the city’s Mental Health Services Department to provide counseling at Oxford and the central kitchen, which has about 15 employees, said Coplan.

Burton, who lived in Richmond, was the mother of a 15-year old daughter and 8-year old son.

Oakland police are still investigating why Burton was shot. It may be a case of mistaken identity, according to the Tribune.

Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $15,000 in reward money for information leading to the killer’s arrest. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.

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With a little help from our friends

Berkeleyside exists because of the community we’re in: its flow of news, its fascinating characters, its contentious issues. But we’re constantly discovering — to our delight — that the community gives us back as much as we put into it. That’s been made clear in the last couple of months by some wonderful acts of community generosity.

As any small business owner knows, there are dozens of skills that need to be mastered. On Berkeleyside, the three founders have decades of journalism experience. But we’ve had to learn about accounting, corporate taxation, marketing, and on and on. We’ve also had to become amateur webmasters. The technical skills we’ve developed are fine on a day-to-day basis, but every once in a while the Internet throws us a loop that demands far greater expertise. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley picks from 54th San Francisco Int’l Film Festival

Crime after Crime
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The clouds never seem to part and the puddles never seem to dry in Foreign Parts, a damp slice of life documentary screening at Pacific Film Archive at 2:15 pm this coming Saturday, April 23, as part of the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival. (The Festival begins on Thursday, April 21 at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre with — appropriately — Beginners, the new film from Thumbsucker director Mike ‘Not the Guy In R.E.M.’ Mills.)

Shot over a two-year period by directors Verena Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki, Foreign Parts is a Frederick Wiseman-style slice of life centered on a rough and tumble corner of New York City known as Willets Point. Slated repeatedly for redevelopment, Willets Point is adjacent to Citifield, the recently opened ballpark that serves as home for the New York Mets. Some of the film’s most memorable moments come via stunning long distance shots of the stadium, the opulence and magnificence of which contrast startlingly with the auto shops and junkyards of Willets Point.

Are the locals envious? Not at all: in fact, they’re opposed, or at best indifferent, to Mayor Bloomberg’s plans for the ‘hood, which they consider gifts from the Mayor to his developer buddies. The Point’s tight-knit working-class community (which consists of a potpourri of transients, ex-cons, drug addicts, down and outers, immigrants, and one — count him, one — permanent resident who’s lived there for 76 years) is unimpressed by the glitter of Citifield or Bloombo’s promises of new apartments and amenities. Foreign Parts is an elegiac salute to the stubborn spirit of backwoods urban America, and a reminder that you can still get great deals on windshield repair if you only know where to look. … Continue reading »

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