Tag Archives: UC Berkeley

Storytelling forum tells of Berkeley’s legacy for the blind

Over 50 blind and sighted people attended the storytelling event Saturday night at the East Bay Center for the Blind.  Photo: Seung Y. Lee
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For Judy Wilkinson, her story as a UC Berkeley student in the 1960s was the story of T22.

T22 was a campus building for blind students near Cal’s Doe Library. As a student, Wilkinson spent many nights in T22, long past her co-op’s curfew, listening to books on its recorders. She would wake up in the classroom and grab breakfast in the building next door.

Torn down decades ago, T22 was once the epicenter of blind student activity on campus. Wilkinson forged lifelong friendships, and paved her career as an editor for a publication of the California Council of the Blind, in the hallways of T22.

“I am who I am largely because of the politics I learned and the friends I made there,” Wilkinson said. “It was our little world. Nobody knew we were there.”

Dozens of blind residents from Berkeley and nearby, including Wilkinson, gathered to share and listen to life stories Saturday night at the East Bay Center for the Blind, at 2928 Adeline St. in South Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Op-ed: Be careful of the free-speech balloon drop

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The massacre at Charlie Hebdo united a stricken world behind the principles of free speech. But how are we doing really? Nationally the US Supreme Court has equated speech with money and hampers earnest bipartisan efforts to get money out of politics. Here in Berkeley it is just as bad.

The balloon drop manufactured by the Free Speech Movement commemorators and the University of California bounces through town yearly, giving people the false impression that UC loves free speech and … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley holds open house about downtown high-rise

This parking lot, between Hearst Avenue and Berkeley Way, is slated to become a high-rise to replace Tolman Hall. Image: Google maps
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The University of California at Berkeley says it is moving forward with plans to build a high-rise in downtown Berkeley — for its education, psychology and public health areas of study — and will hold an open house about the project this week.

The Berkeley Way West academic building is set to reach 112 feet at Berkeley Way and Shattuck Avenue, and span 320,000 gross square feet in a lot along Shattuck from Berkeley Way north to Hearst Avenue. The area is now used as surface parking for UC Berkeley affiliates.

According to the few details that have been released thus far by the university, the building will reach up to 112 feet at its southwest corner, but will be “stepped lower” at the northern edge of the site at Hearst.

The city of Berkeley’s Downtown Area Plan, which was adopted in 2012 after Berkeley voters endorsed its concepts in 2010, allows for the construction of three 180-foot-tall buildings, including a hotel, in Berkeley’s downtown core and outer core, and two 120-foot-high buildings. UC Berkeley has the right to build two additional 120-foot-tall structures. … Continue reading »

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Mark Bittman: Why I’m coming to UC Berkeley

bittmancolorphoto. photo- sally stein
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By Ann Brody Guy

Headed to the UC Berkeley campus for a semester-long residency at the Berkeley Food Institute, best-selling cooking writer and New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recently took a moment on a short visit to campus to talk about what lies ahead —  from the holidays to his upcoming college experience — with Ann Brody Guy, communications director at the College of Natural Resources.

You started out as a cooking writer. What catalyzed the shift from recipe guy to food systems commentator?

It wasn’t exactly a shift, it was an addition, because I do still do recipes; in fact, my new book, How to Cook Everything Fast, is a monster, and just came out a couple of months ago.

Why did I start writing about food as opposed to eating? There was an opportunity. I cared, and I saw an opportunity, and I took it. But it’s hard to give things up that you care about, and I do care about writing recipes. So, I work harder than I used to.

I talked my way onto the New York Times opinion page. I’d been writing about food policy and food systems for a couple of years, and I thought, “There’s every reason to do this as often as I can.” So, I proposed a weekly column, and I believe I was the first person to write a weekly food opinion-page column for a major paper. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley student ID’d as Southside fatality, died from head trauma

Apoorve Agarwal. Photo: Apoorve Agarwal/Facebook
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The young man who died Saturday in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood was a 20-year-old junior from San Ramon who was pursuing a double major in applied mathematics and economics at UC Berkeley, according to biographical information posted online.

The Berkeley Police Department said officers found the young man’s body just after 4 a.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of Piedmont Avenue, between Dwight Way and Parker Street.

The Alameda County coroner’s office identified the man Monday as Apoorve Agarwal.

“At this time, it does not appear foul play was involved and alcohol may have been a factor,” police said in a prepared statement Saturday.

According to scanner audio recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside, first responders were called to the scene for a report of an unresponsive man who had fallen down the stairs. Prior to their arrival, the man was not breathing, but CPR was performed by someone nearby. … Continue reading »

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20-year-old man found dead in Southside Berkeley

The young dead man was found in the 2500 block of Piedmont Avenue south of the UC Berkeley campus. Image: Google Maps
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Update, Dec. 22, 2 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department is not releasing the name of the deceased man at this time, and does not know whether he was a UC Berkeley student. Said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, “At this point, the circumstances surrounding the death are consistent with death by accidental causes.”

Original post, Dec. 20, 3:10 p.m. A 20-year-old man was found dead on the street in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Berkeley Police said they responded to a report of an unresponsive male in the 2500 block of Piedmont Avenue in Southside Berkeley at approximately 3:59 a.m. on Dec. 20. 

Berkeley Police and Fire personnel arrived within minutes and discovered a 20-year-old male, deceased, just outside his residence.

BPD said it is investigating the case as a suspicious death, although it does not appear that foul play was involved. Alcohol may have been a factor, the police reported in a release issued at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union leads peaceful protest march from campus to Oakland

12.13 protest photo laurie kahn
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Despite being shaken by the appearance of effigies hanging from nooses on campus Saturday morning, UC Berkeley Black Student Union (BSU) leaders said they didn’t want that incident to affect their planned march against police killings of black people. Approximately 300 protesters met at Sproul Plaza at noon and, over the course of nearly three hours, marched to downtown Oakland to join forces with the larger “Millions March” demonstration that had gathered there.

Read more of Berkeleyside’s Berkeley protest coverage.

The march was calm, with the crowd following orders and cues from the BSU organizers in the front. Led by a car, the protesters walked up Bancroft Way to College Avenue, headed south, paused for about 20 minutes to occupy the intersection of College and Ashby avenues, and eventually continued onto Broadway. Police instructed the car to turn off College before entering Oakland. … Continue reading »

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Community responds to noose effigies found at Cal

This effigy was one of three authorities say was hung at the UC Berkeley campus Saturday morning. Photo: Cal Black Student Union
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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso

Sunday, Dec. 14, 5 p.m. An anonymous artists’ collective has taken responsibility for the effigies strung up in nooses at UC Berkeley on Saturday.

The statement from the collective:

“We are a collective of queer and POC artists responsible for the images of historical lynchings posted to several locations in Berkeley and Oakland,” reads a notice the group distributed. “These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness. We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.”

See past Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

“For those who think these images are no longer relevant to the social framework in which black Americans exist everyday – we respectfully disagree. Garner, Brown, and others are victims of systemic racism. For those who think these images depict crimes and attitudes too distasteful to be seen .. we respectfully disagree. Our society must never forget. For those under the mistaken assumption that the images themselves were intended as an act of racism – we vehemently disagree and intended only the confrontation of historical context.” … Continue reading »

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Black Lives Matter protest by hundreds of Berkeley High students ‘shows how it’s done’

Berkeley High students stage a 'die-in" observing a 4.5 minute silence at the Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus on Dec. 10, 2014. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Until yesterday, UC Berkeley junior Franchesca Cavagnaro had never been to a protest. While walking on the Cal campus Wednesday afternoon, she came across a crowd, many hundreds-strong, of demonstrators gathered on the steps of Sproul Hall. She liked what she saw and knew she wanted to be part of it. She joined the group as they marched to the Campanile.

Despite the location, the protesters were not Cal students. They were all Berkeley High students who, as part of an event, carefully organized by the school’s Black Student Union, had walked off their downtown campus at 2:30 p.m., skipping the last class of the day, in order to make their voices heard in the uproar over the recent police-related deaths of young black men. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Cal students, supporters hold ‘black lives matter’ rally

A photograph from Thursday's "black lives matter" rally at UC Berkeley. Photo: Genesis
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A large group of black UC Berkeley students and their supporters are holding a rally on campus now, Thursday afternoon, in response to the recent Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury verdict regarding the fatal shooting by a police officer of Michael Brown.

They have occupied the Golden Bear Cafe at UC Berkeley since noon, with plans to be there for 4½ hours — the length of time they say Brown’s body remained in the street after he was killed. (The cafe is closed during the rally.) A speaker at 2:10 p.m. said police are not interfering with the activities.

Some attendees wore sweatshirts promoting the message “black power.” Others held signs saying “We can’t breathe,” in reference to the death in July of Eric Garner in New York City during his detention by police. This week, a Staten Island grand jury said it would not indict the officer who put Garner in the chokehold that led to his death.

A live-streaming video of the rally — organized by the UC Berkeley Black Student Union — is posted online, though it has been experiencing some technical difficulties. Scroll down below the video to learn how to follow live tweets from the event. … Continue reading »

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Cal students launch headphone start-ups, raise big bucks

Accent Wear headphones
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It may be happenstance, or the sign of a specialized talent pool, but Berkeley is home to two new innovative headphone start-ups, both of which have made their debuts via crowd-funding sites.

One company was started by Cal graduates, and the other by Cal dropouts who left to pursue their acoustical dream.

If high-tech feline attire is your music-listening thing, take a look at Axent’s Wear Cat Ear headphones, which launched on Indiegogo a little over a month ago.

“The latest fusion of fashion and functionality with external cat ear speakers and LED lights,” reads the description. “Presenting Axent Wear, glowing, badass headphones that let you blast your music and express your style.”

The headphone company were started “by two UC Berkeley alum with an idea,” the site says.

That idea seems to have hit a chord. In just a few weeks, Axent raised more than $2.9 million, far exceeding its stated goal of $250,000. … Continue reading »

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Students march through Berkeley to protest tuition hikes

UC tuition protests. Photo: Siciliana Trevino
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Several hundred UC Berkeley students staged a walkout Monday, Nov. 24, to protest proposed tuition increases across the UC system.

As part of the walkout, a group around 200-strong took the protest to the streets of downtown Berkeley, starting at Civic Center Park and walking up Center Street toward the campus at around 1 p.m.

Police had stopped traffic at the corner of Center and Shattuck Avenue, and traffic was disrupted by the demonstration, said Siciliana Trevino who was on the scene and shot the video below.

The University of California’s Board of Regents voted Nov. 20 to authorize systemwide tuition increases of up to 5% per year through 2019-20 over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, who offered to increase state funding by 4% per year over the next two years only if tuition was frozen at the current rate.  … Continue reading »

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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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