Category Archives: UC Berkeley

2 ‘botanical rubberneckers’ forage the East Bay

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By Gretchen Kell

With the gusto of wine enthusiasts in a tasting room, Philip Stark and Tom Carlson eye, sniff and sample their selections, pronouncing them “robust,” “lovely,” “voluptuous” — and even “just beyond words.” The undergraduate students with them flock close, curious.

The group is far from a trendy winery or upscale farmer’s market. Instead, gathered at the forlorn corner of Sycamore Avenue and South 45th St. in Richmond, they’re in the heart of a food desert, an area without easy access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. Yet, in this low-income neighborhood, with more liquor and fast-food shops than grocery stores, there’s a bounty of goodness thriving in some unlikely places — a parched lawn, sidewalk cracks, along a chain link fence.

And from the looks of it, that bounty is composed almost entirely of … weeds.

“Yes, these are weeds,” acknowledges Carlson, an ethnobotanist and a tenured lecturer in the Department of Integrative Biology, happily munching on a low-lying edible called cat’s ear. “But many of these were brought to America long ago by immigrants from Europe and Asia who used them for foods and medicines. There are high rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in these food deserts, and study after study shows the benefits of eating more leafy greens. These are available and nutritious and free.” … Continue reading »

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Man, 20, found dead after party at Berkeley frat house

Police police cars outside the fraternity where a 20-year-old was found dead Nov. 9. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A 20-year-old man was found dead Sunday afternoon at the Zeta Psi fraternity in Berkeley, at 2728 Bancroft Ave., the day after the frat threw a large party that drew hundreds of attendees.

Police responded to a call about an unresponsive male just before 12:10 p.m., and found a man face down in a room in the fraternity, according to Lt. Ed Spiller of the Berkeley Police Department.

The Berkeley Fire Department also responded, and confirmed that the man had died. No time of death has been provided, but the man was described as “cold to the touch” over the police scanner. … Continue reading »

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Bill Maher responds to critics; he is coming to Berkeley

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Bill Maher addressed the controversy surrounding his speech at Cal’s December commencement on his show, Real Time with Bill Maher.

Maher said on Friday he had been pleased to be invited to speak. After all, he loves Berkeley and he wasn’t busy in December.

He also said that accusations of him being racist couldn’t be true, because Islam is not a race. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Cal should take down beer and athletics billboard

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Has anyone been in the Alta Bates ER on a UC Berkeley football game night? I have, and it is an eye-opening experience of drunkenness and bloody injuries.

I was astonished this week as I headed home from work to see a billboard next to the freeway in Emeryville advertising beer with the Cal Athletics logo. I had noticed a similar billboard a year ago and wrote to the newly appointed Chancellor expressing my concerns. I received a prompt reply … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley Chancellor: Bill Maher must speak

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Hours after a student group uninvited Bill Maher to speak at UC Berkeley’s December commencement, Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks invited him back, citing his constitutionally protected right to free speech.

“The UC Berkeley administration cannot and will not accept this decision, which appears to have been based solely on Mr. Maher’s opinions and beliefs, which he conveyed through constitutionally protected speech,” the university said in a prepared statement. Continue reading »

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More than 2,500 protest Bill Maher’s speech at Cal

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Update: Oct. 30. The Chancellor has determined Maher will speak. See our update here.

The selection of TV host Bill Maher to deliver a December commencement address at UC Berkeley has come under fire from people who believe his views on Islam are racist.

More than 2,500 people have signed a petition on Change.org asking that the university withdraw its offer. The petition also suggests people boycott the address, now scheduled for Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. … Continue reading »

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Emma Goldman: Still too hot to handle? UC Berkeley set to pull plug on anarchist’s archive

Emma Goldman in a mug shot taken in 1901. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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By Rebecca Spence / J Weekly

As UC Berkeley celebrates the 50th anniversary of the free speech movement this month, a long-simmering feud over funding for the Emma Goldman Papers — an archival project dedicated to the life and work of the iconic Jewish radical and free speech advocate — is coming to a head.

After 34 years of UC Berkeley affiliation, and more than $1.2 million of funding spread across the decades, the project could be reaching the end of the line. … Continue reading »

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Police search for 2 after dorm room robbery in Berkeley

Clark Kerr Campus. Photo: UC Berkeley
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Police are looking for two young men they say convinced a UC Berkeley student in his dorm room to make a call for them, then stole his phone while threatening to have a gun.

According to police, the robbery took place early Sunday, just before 12:20 a.m.

Police said the student was in his room at the Clark Kerr Campus of UC Berkeley, at 2601 Warring St., when he heard loud knocking on the door of his suite.

He opened the door and found two young strangers outside, the University of California Police Department wrote in a prepared statement. They asked the student to make a call for them on his phone. … Continue reading »

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Video: 36 hours in Berkeley, California

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This week, the New York Times turned its attention to Berkeley for its regular “36 Hours in…” series. It’s not the first time the city has been viewed through this lens. It was also featured in 2003.

This time, however, they also created a video to give readers a sense of life in the city (scroll down to watch it).

Many favorite local businesses and organizations are featured it the video and the accompanying article, including the Tilden Steam Train, the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley’s Hearst swimming pool, Alchemy Collective, La Botella Republic, Cheese Board Collective, Chez Panisse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Comal, Ici, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Ippuku, Elmwood Café, Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, and the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association. (Prizefighter cocktail bar also sneaked in, although it is actually in Emeryville.) … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Standing up for student mental health

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KQED recently reported that students in the University of California system are struggling to get critical mental health services. Even at UC Berkeley, demand is at an all-time high and health directors are raising a red flag, asking for more staffing and funding.

Over the last six years, the number of students seeking help increased 37% – and they’re waiting longer to get appointments – four weeks or even longer. Often by the time they see a professional, their … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police make frat house arrest in rape case

Delta Upsilon at UC Berkeley. Image: Google maps
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Update, Oct. 17: The case against Eugene Quillin has been dismissed, and he has been exonerated and found factually innocent.

Original story, Oct. 3: Police have arrested a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student in connection with a sexual assault reported last weekend.

Berkeley police arrested Eugene Quillin on Thursday at UC Berkeley’s Delta Upsilon fraternity house at 2425 Warring St. after serving a search warrant there, authorities said. As of Friday afternoon, Quillin had been released on bail, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

Thursday, the University of California Police Department sent out an email notice to report two instances of sexual assault at fraternities Saturday. Both had been reported to the Berkeley Police Department.

Berkeley police also received a report of a third sexual assault Saturday that “may have occurred in a fraternity,” according to UCPD. No further information on those incidents has been released.  … Continue reading »

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Photos: Rally on UC Berkeley campus marks 50th anniversary of the birth of the Free Speech Movement

The Free Speech Movement rally held at UC Berkeley on Oct. 1, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Oct. 1 marked the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a protest that lasted for three months but set the stage for the turbulent 1960s.

On that day, thousands of UC Berkeley students protested on the Cal campus, surrounding a police car parked near Sproul Plaza. Jack Weinberg was inside the car and stayed inside it for 32 hours, having been arrested for distributing political material on university grounds despite rules that forbade it.

A graduate student, Mario Savio, climbed on top of the police car at one point and demanded Weinberg’s release. He also spoke out against the university’s restrictions against handing out political material. That impromptu speech catapulted him into the leadership of what would come to be known as the Free Speech Movement.

Read more, and enjoy these photos taken by Ted Friedman at the rally held 50 years later at the same spot at UC Berkeley when FSM veterans — including Weinberg and Savio’s wife, Lynne Hollander Savio — joined current students to mark the movement’s golden anniversary. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: UC profits from the fossil fuel industry

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It doesn’t make sense for the University of California to hold millions of dollars of stock in the fossil fuel industry and at the same time espouse a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. Students at UC Berkeley and throughout the UC system have demanded that the Regents vote to divest from their stock in fossil fuel companies. On Sept.17, 2014, the Regents ignored their wishes.

In a hasty process involving only four one-hour meetings over the summer, a task force … Continue reading »

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