Category Archives: UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley

UCPD investigates abduction, sexual assault in Berkeley

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The victim told UCPD she was “abducted from Central Campus and driven to an unknown location where she was sexually assaulted.”

Police found the victim after she was released on the morning of Nov. 20, “and are conducting an investigation.”

Police said no suspect information was provided.

UCPD released the statement at about 1:10 p.m. Friday by email.  … Continue reading »

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Protesters rally in Berkeley to show solidarity with black students across the nation

Students and supporters held a demonstration on the UC Berkeley campus on Wednesday Nov. 18 in support of diversity and equity for students of color. Photo: Amber Stewart
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An estimated 100-200 people took part in a rally and march that began on the UC Berkeley campus Wednesday, held to demonstrate solidarity with black students at universities across the country, including at the University of Missouri.

Chanting refrains including “Oh people don’t give up,” “Victory will be ours one day,” and “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ‘cos the power of the people won’t stop,” the demonstrators, many of whom wore black, gathered in front of the Campanile on the Cal campus, then marched through downtown Berkeley and ended the protest in Civic Center Park, in front of Berkeley City Hall.

The demonstration was organized by the UC Berkeley Black Student Union (BSU), and mirrored similar ‘Student Blackout’ walkouts at Yale, UCLA, Emerson College, Occidental College and a host of other universities across the nation in recent days. … Continue reading »

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Help needed to restore Berkeley’s favorite big whale

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The Lawrence Hall of Science is asking the community for help to restore its “Big Whale,” the life-size replica of a fin whale that is located on the museum’s plaza. It hopes to raise a total of $65,000 for restoration work. The much-loved mammal is appreciated by many, and has been climbed on by several generations of children, ever since it was installed in the 1970s (see photo below of the whale being carried by helicopter to its Berkeley home).

Pheena, for that is her name, requires “tip-to-tail” restoration, and the UC Berkeley-owned museum is joining in the university’s Big Give 24-hour fundraising blitz — which happens on Thursday Nov. 19 — to help preserve what it say is a symbol of the Hall. Essential fixes are required to repair “significant damage” to the whale’s shell and frame, according to the museum.

“Pheena is a symbol of the discovery and imagination that can be found at the Hall, where we help children and adults think bigger and imagine the possibilities of science discovery,” the Hall wrote in a press release. “From our public science center to classrooms around the world, we activate science learning everywhere, for anyone.” … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley plans 8-story building with student housing

A concept diagram for the proposed Stiles Hall building. Image: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
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Update, Nov. 19, 5:58 p.m. We hear from David Stark, executive director of Stiles Hall, a bit more about the organization’s plans and perspective: “We would like to let our hundreds of supporters know that Stiles Hall has been in negotiations on this since its inception. We are excited about getting a new modern space in the development which will continue to be owned by Stiles Hall, independent of the University. They will also give us a nearby space to continue operations for the two years it’s being built. Overall, we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Original story, Nov. 16, 2 p.m. The University of California, Berkeley is planning to demolish a small building on Bancroft Way to make way for an 8-story mixed-use project set to house nearly 800 students.

An open house is planned for Monday, Nov. 16, from 6-7:30 p.m.

The new building would feature new ground-floor retail, as well as replacement space for existing programming. About 770 students would be housed in 19 “pods” described as “distinct communities” of 40 students each, most of whom would be in double-occupancy units.

“The primary purpose of the project is to provide incoming first year students state-of-the-art dormitory style residential accommodations,” according to a statement released by the university earlier this month. “Each pod will include a dedicated resident advisor, study lounge, and a pair of gender inclusive bathroom facilities.”

An existing surface parking lot for UC Berkeley affiliates would be replaced by the new building and “related landscape improvements.” … Continue reading »

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Hundreds expected to attend ‘Million Student March’ on UC Berkeley campus

Campanile by D.H. Parks
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Hundreds of protesters are expected to take part in a “Million Student March” demonstration Thursday, Nov. 12, on the UC Berkeley campus at 2 p.m.

UC Berkeley students and other activists plan to join a nationwide day of action demanding tuition-free public higher education, cancellation of student debt and a $15 wage for all university workers.

According to the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), the student governance body, “over 700 activists will descend on Upper Sproul Plaza at 2pm to hold the UC Berkeley Million Student March in conjunction with universities across the nation.”

The ASUC says the protest is expected to include Berkeley High students, city of Berkeley community members and 500 nurses from the California Nurses Association.

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Robert Reich has ideas on how to save capitalism

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Book reviewer Mal Warwick thinks Robert Reich’s new book is “brilliant,” and “cogently and compellingly” explains complex economic issues. But while Reich is funny in person, ‘Saving Capitalism’ doesn’t contain a lot of humor, says Warwick. He still gives it five out of five stars.

☆☆☆☆☆ (five out of five)

If you’ve ever been exposed to Robert Reich’s “Wealth and Poverty” course at UC Berkeley, perhaps through the film Inequality for All, or heard him speak in public, you know that there are few people alive today who are his equal in the ability to explain complex economic and social issues so cogently and compellingly. And few indeed are as funny as he is, either: the man could make a go of a career with a standup act.

However, there’s not a lot of humor in Saving Capitalism, Reich’s fifteenth book. In this brilliant long essay, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor takes on the economic issues of the day from a perspective that rarely comes to light in public discourse: he rejects the widespread assumption that a “free market” exists independent of government. … Continue reading »

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‘Flavors of Oakland’ weaves local culinary narrative

Anya Ku (center) and Elazar Sontag (right) with friend Keith Walcott (left). Photo courtesy: Anya Ku
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Anya Ku and Elazar Sontag are perhaps an unlikely pair. Ku is a photographer who honed her craft taking portraits for her high-school newspaper and yearbook. Sontag is a cook and blogger who’s done stints at Oakland restaurants Pizzaiolo and Duende. Ku wasn’t “much of a foodie.” Sontag didn’t know the first thing about photography. But they’re both passionate about both their crafts and community building in Oakland, so when a mutual friend introduced them, they immediately struck up a conversation on Snapchat.

Yes, Snapchat.

“It’s kind of embarrassing, but awesome too,” said Sontag. “A proof of the new age.”

Proof of this new age of communication, sure, but also of the duo’s age. Ku is 19, and Sontag is only 17 — and as of this December, they will have finished writing, photographing and printing a full-color cookbook about Oakland. They’re doing this all while still enrolled as full-time students; Ku is at UC Berkeley and Sontag is in high school in San Francisco. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley: The 50th anniversary of 50 years ago

Telegraph Avenue from Durant to Haste. Photo courtesy Tom Stetler
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David and Paula Stetler live in Wilmington, North Carolina, as does their son Tom Stetler. David and Paula lived in Berkeley in the early 1960s. David earned his Phd. in botany from the University of California in 1967. Paula graduated from Mills College in 1963 and worked in a laboratory at the university. Their gifted-amateur photographs, currently being unearthed by son Tom, show the ridiculous and sublime of their Berkeley days.

The photo above is a goldmine for students of Telegraph Avenue— traffic flowing both ways, Joe’s Ranch Burgers, the Sather Gate Book Shop, the Bank of America with windows, Layton’s, Larry Blake’s, Robbie’s Hoffbrau, King Pin Donuts on the corner of Channing, and the Berkeley Inn.

Their time in Berkeley coincided with Ludwig’s time in his fountain, and they have three photos showing Ludwig. … Continue reading »

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UCPD arrests man in bathroom recording case

Joseph Barbir. Photo: UCPD
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The University of California Police Department has announced the arrest of a former Cal employee they say recorded more than 100 people, including two minors, in a restroom earlier this year.

UCPD detectives arrested Joseph Barbir, 49, on Thursday “after a lengthy and thorough investigation” that linked him to “more than two dozen counts of invasion of privacy with a covert camera. At least two of the victims were minors,” police said in a prepared statement.

On May 8, a “covert camera” was discovered in a restroom inside the Unit I residence hall central building at 2650 Durant Ave.

According to police, Barbir “used signs to redirect unsuspecting victims to that restroom in April and early May. It was determined that more than 100 persons were covertly recorded in the restroom.”

According to UCPD records posted online, police picked up Barbir in Castro Valley, where he lives, on a $145,000 misdemeanor warrant at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. He was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. … Continue reading »

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Small fire knocks out UC Berkeley’s computers, WiFi

Earl Warren Hall, where the datacenter fire occurred on Friday night. Photo: Google Streetview
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A small fire at the UC Berkeley datacenter in Earl Warren Hall on Hearst Avenue on Friday knocked out the campus’ entire computer network from 7 p.m. An overheated server apparently sparked the fire, which in turn triggered the center’s fire suppression system. The Berkeley Fire Department responded to the fire, evacuated the building and ensured that the fire was controlled. No injuries were reported.

“Since the fire shortly after 7 p.m., we’ve been all hands on deck with folks working around the clock,” said university spokesman Roqua Montez. Speaking at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, Montez said the datacenter is back up and storage is mostly back up.

Applications, including CalNet — which enables the university’s many websites — are still down. “We don’t have a timetable for that yet,” Montez said. The university’s WiFi is also still down. … Continue reading »


Alcohol at Cal: Authorities report record arrests, tickets

Paramedics load a patient into an ambulance during a response to an alcohol poisoning call at Freeborn Hall in the Unit 1 dorms at the University of California, in Berkeley, on Sunday, August 23. The call came in as a possible alcohol poisoning case involving a 19-year-old female in the bathroom of Freeborn Hall. Photo: David Yee
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An annual enforcement effort targeting drinking at UC Berkeley as the semester kicks off has netted a record number of arrests and citations related to alcohol use around campus, but the calls for medical service for heavily intoxicated students have been on the decline, authorities reported this week.

The Berkeley Police Department tallied 423 arrests and citations over the first two weekends of the school year, from Aug. 21-23 and Aug. 27-29, around campus and in the Southside neighborhood.

The operation was a collaboration between the Berkeley Police Department and the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, which funds the effort through a grant. The annual effort dates back to 2004, and has netted 3,400 arrests and citations over that time related to possession of open containers in public, minors in possession of alcohol, furnishing alcohol to a minor, minors in possession of fake IDs and public intoxication.

The numbers have fluctuated over the years, from a low of 179 in 2006 to a high this year of 423, which was a 29% increase in overall arrests and citations over the prior year. This year was the first to show more than 400 arrests and citations.

Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said officers saw record numbers of minors in possession of alcohol (133 citations), as well as minors in possession of fake IDs (80 citations). Open container violations (180) were the second highest recorded since 2004.

White said the number of fake IDs confiscated was particularly notable. In many past years, several dozen of these IDs were confiscated. That number jumped to 44 in 2011, rose the following year to 78, dropped a bit the next two years, then hit its peak, at 80, this year. … Continue reading »

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Police arrest man after bathroom peeping report

Richard Anderson. Photo: UCPD
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The University of California Police Department has arrested a 71-year-old man authorities say was using a cell phone to record another man in a bathroom stall on the UC Berkeley campus over the weekend.

Authorities said Richard C. Anderson used a drill to make a hole in a bathroom stall wall Sunday in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building on campus.

According to a statement released Tuesday, Sept. 8, UCPD officers responded to a report at 4:50 p.m. Sunday of someone who was videotaping a man using a restroom on the lower level of the student union.

The 49-year-old man told police he had gone into the bathroom stall, then “noticed someone reaching underneath the stall holding a smart phone.”

He “yelled and left the restroom,” according to the police statement, then told an employee in the building about the incident.  … Continue reading »

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Police: Man groped kids at Strawberry Canyon Pool

Photo: UCPD
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The University of California Police Department is looking for a man reported to have groped several children while they were swimming in Strawberry Canyon Pool on Thursday.

According to a UCPD notice released Friday at about 10:50 a.m., the reports came in Thursday at about 5:45 p.m.

Police say the man “swam up to each victim, grabbed their leg and/or buttocks then swam away. It is possible that there are additional victims.”

Police said the man grabbed several girls, ages 9 to 13, while they were swimming.  … Continue reading »

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