Daily Archives: April 18, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 04.18.12

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Fifty Berkeley High students caught in attendance fraud

Berkeley High School: center of a student-orchestrated attendance scam. Photo: Lance Knobel
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Update 7:00 p.m. Berkeley High principal Pasquale Scuderi has replied by email to Berkeleyside to say that 32 suspensions have been issued so far and two students are being considered for expulsion. “The remaining students appeared to be minimally and peripherally involved and alternative forms of consequences are being considered for those students,” he wrote.

Scuderi wrote that the attendance irregularities were discovered in late December and changes were found dating back to October. The next 8-10 weeks were spent following the paper trails and “working with district staff to locate the computers, passwords, and patterns that allowed us to locate and identify those students involved”.

According to Scuderi, there is no evidence “at this time” that any component of PowerSchool (which is used for both attendance and grades), other than the attendance portal was accessed. … Continue reading »


Saving for retirement in rocky economic times

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The last few years have been tough on retirement savings.

Finding and keeping a job has been a challenge for many. Those who were laid off had to dip into their 401K plans just to survive. Home values — which often served as the backbone of a retirement plan – have plunged in value. Low interest rates, market volatility, and rising health care costs make saving for retirement even more complicated.

A survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that 56% of workers have saved less than $25,000, according to USA Today.

“People are frightened, confused and scared about their prospects for retirement in today’s economy amid changing rules” said Valerie Coleman Morris, a former CNN financial journalist. “In order to plan for tomorrow, you must understand your options for today.” … Continue reading »

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Can Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue get its mojo back?

TelChrtt 066
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When a group of urban design experts gather to brainstorm ideas for revitalizing Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue there are some unstated, but fundamental, shared understandings. People’s Park, which abuts the avenue, is a sensitive issue, as are the street’s semi-permanent populations of homeless people and transient youth. Suggesting any type of change in general can be a tough call in Berkeley. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that when a student group calling itself the Telegraph Livable Coalition some time ago drafted a checklist of 21 things that might be achieved on Telegraph before they graduated, the starting point was that they would only consider issues “that nobody would protest against.”

Last weekend, Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects, urban planners and transit specialists, came together to drum up new visions for Telegraph Avenue. They called it the Telegraph Project charrette, using the French term that has come to mean an intense period of design activity. Members of the public were encouraged to attend and bring their own thoughts to the Friday night kick-off session at which the avenue’s “current state of play” was presented. … Continue reading »

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Opening: 55th San Francisco International Film Festival

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If it’s spring in the Bay Area, it’s time once again for the San Francisco International Film Festival. While the Festival proper commences with appropriate pomp and circumstance this coming Thursday at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, its East Bay offerings begin the following day, Friday, April 20th, with a pair of down-to-Earth Northern European character studies screening at Pacific Film Archive.

Up first, at 6:30 pm, is German writer-director Ulrich Köhler’s Sleeping Sickness (Schlafkrankheit), winner of the Silver Bear at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival. Set in the West African republic of Cameroon, it’s an elliptical examination of the uneasy relationship between the First and Third Worlds, a film that doesn’t tip its hand until the very last frame — and arguably not even then. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Photo: Neil Mishalov.

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