Tag Archives: UC Berkeley

How Quirky is Berkeley? Kingman Hall’s quirky murals

Kingman Hall, 1730 La Loma Avenue. Photo: John Storey
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I went to Kingman Co-Op at 1730 La Loma Ave. on graduation weekend to photograph the front door for a post-in-progress about painted doors. On the way to the door, I found this wonderful toad mural on the garage door.

Read more from Tom Dalzell on Berkeleyside.

The door I wanted to photograph, though, was blocked by a chalkboard with the history of Kingman Hall on it.

Daniella Thompson has written a detailed history of Kingman Hall,  The brief history is: built in 1914 for Theta Xi fraternity, fraternity disbands in 1964, functions as “Toad Hall” rooming house 1964-1969, rooming house with new owner 1969-1973, Ken Keyes Jr. and his Berkeley Living Love Center 1973-1977, and since 1977, the Berkeley Student Cooperative.  It’s all on the chalkboard. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley students build new bridge in John Hinkel Park

Blackberry Creek  bridge. Photo: Rene Davids
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By René Davids

This spring, as the result of a collaboration with the City of Berkeley, students enrolled in a multidisciplinary seminar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Architecture designed and built a pedestrian bridge for the upper portion of Blackberry Creek, one of the most attractive natural features in John Hinkel Park.

Located on a steep hillside in North Berkeley planted with oaks and other native species, the 4.9-acre park, which was donated in 1919 to the city by businessman John Hinkel, also includes a clubhouse, a large native-stone fireplace, a network of paths and a playground. The small bridge is intended to improve the safety of park visitors who were previously forced to either jump over the creek, or tread carefully across a slippery stone during periods of increased water flow.
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UC Berkeley

Man takes plea after beating 2 with bat at Berkeley frat

Police police cars outside the fraternity where a 20-year-old was found dead Nov. 9. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Two years after being charged with attempted murder in connection with the beating with a metal bat of a pair of UC Berkeley students, an Oakland man has entered dual “no contest” pleas for assault with a deadly weapon.

Frank Paul Watson, 25, was arrested after the attack on April 27, 2014, which left two members of the Zeta Psi fraternity with significant injuries. Both were struck once in the head with the metal bat. One of the young men, Thayer White, suffered a traumatic brain injury. The other ended up needing reconstructive surgery to repair injuries to his face and jaw.

According to court papers, witnesses testified during the preliminary hearing — in December 2014 — that there had been a party that night at Zeta Psi, 2728 Bancroft Way. The party started Saturday night, April 26, and carried on into the early morning of Sunday. Three fraternity brothers, including the one who needed reconstructive surgery, testified about their memories of that night.  … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley student arrested after fraternity rape report

The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on Piedmont Avenue
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Update, 4 p.m. The district attorney’s office declined to file charges in the case. According to office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick, “Based upon a review of the evidence presented by the Berkeley Police Department, we have declined to file criminal charges.” Berkeleyside removed the student’s name, and several identifying details, in light of this new information.

Original story, 7 a.m. Authorities have arrested a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student on suspicion of rape in connection with a case from earlier this year reported to have taken place at a fraternity party near campus.

The Berkeley Police Department arrested the young man at 7 a.m. Thursday after serving a search warrant at his fraternity house at 2395 Piedmont Ave., at Channing Way, authorities said.

UCPD identifies that location as Phi Gamma Delta, a fraternity that is not officially recognized by the CalGreeks organization.

Sgt. Andrew Frankel, BPD spokesman, said the arrest was in connection with “an on-going sexual assault investigation.”

According to a statement released by UCPD on Feb. 22, the victim had attended a party at a fraternity house in the 2300 block of Piedmont three days earlier, on Friday, Feb. 19. The sexual assault took place between midnight and 12:45 a.m. Saturday in a room at the fraternity, which was not named.

According to the UCPD statement, “a report was made to a Campus Security Authority who is required under the Federal Clery Act to report it to the campus Clery Compliance Officer. UCPD is in turn required to alert our community of the crime.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: stop UC from eliminating award-winning medical program that creates life-changing physicians

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Proposed budget cuts are threatening UC Berkeley’s award-winning medical program, which partners with UCSF to create life-changing physicians. In a fight to keep the program alive, students, staff and alumni are taking action.

Since 1971, the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) has been producing innovative physician leaders. Students spend the first part of the program, the pre-clerkship years, studying at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health before heading to UCSF for the final sprint. It has now trained over 450 highly accomplished physicians, with 70% of all those graduates continuing to practice in California.

Now, because of budget cuts, this critical program may be closed. Funding for it is needed in order to get more highly trained physicians into the industry, physicians who are changing lives and furthering scientific research. 80% of the research projects conducted by JMP Masters candidates directly benefit Californians’ health and wellness.

As a program alumni, Colette Auerswald, MD, MS says, “I would not have embarked on a 20-year career caring and advocating for marginalized children and youth in California had it not been for the JMP. Period.” Continue reading »

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Human skull, bones found on Berkeley Lab property

A human skull and three bones were unearthed on Berkeley Lab property on Monday. Photo: LBL Photo: Berkeley Lab
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A human skull and three human bones were discovered on Berkeley Lab property Monday during some routine digging to clear a ditch.

According to a release put out by the Lab on Wednesday, a Lab facilities crew working to clear a drainage ditch in “very steep and brushy terrain” on Berkeley Lab’s southern perimeter discovered a skull and one bone around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The Alameda County coroner’s office was called in and completed its search of the site on Tuesday after finding two more bones. The remains were found outside of Berkeley Lab’s fence line but on Berkeley Lab’s property. 

It is not known how long the remains were in the ditch, nor how old they are. Foul play is not suspected, according to the Lab’s statement, pending new information from the coroner’s office.

Jon Weiner, a spokesman for the Lab, said they were waiting to hear back from the coroner’s office as to any possible identification of the remains. … Continue reading »

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Photos: 100s turn up, chill out for 420 day on Cal campus

420 Day on the UC Berkeley campus, April 20, 2016. Photo: Ted Friedman
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People came out in droves to Memorial Glade on the UC Berkeley campus Wednesday to mark 420 day, an international celebration of cannabis culture. The mood was, as might be expected, mellow and the more entrepreneurial among the student body were making munchies available.

The origins of 420 day are as hazy as a cloud of marijuana smoke: urban myths include the notion that 420 is the police radio code for smoking marijuana in public; 4/20 was the day Adolf Hitler — or perhaps Jim Morrison of The Doors died; or that 420 relates to California’s penal code relating to cannabis. The most likely explanation is close to home and involves a group of San Rafael high-school students, at least according to Slate.

Contributing photographer Ted Friedman checked out the scene at Cal — at around 4:20 p.m., naturally. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: New 783-bed, 8-story-high Stiles student housing project is too big

A rendering of how the Stiles student housing project would look on Bancroft Avenue. Photo: UC Berkeley
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The University is poised to approve what may be its largest student housing project to date, the Stiles Student Housing project, in the form of this behemoth of a structure providing 783 beds for students on one of few remaining University parking lots, on Bancroft, just west of Telegraph. Although our City needs more housing, we need to make sure that we’re building the right kinds of housing, in the right quantities for the right sites. This enormous project is too much, too high, and too dense. Perhaps more importantly, it does not account for the impacts that result from building from property line to property line and closing the heavily used parking lot.

If the University pushes this project through approval without modification, our community will be stuck with the consequences, including a prison-like façade overwhelming the neighborhood, for decades to come.

Our community must come together to persuade the University to scale down its plans to align better and less disruptively with the existing neighborhood. Public comments are due this week. … Continue reading »

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Man wanted after sexual assault arrested in Tennessee

Sheldon Johnson. Photo: NCRIC
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A 23-year-old man wanted in connection with a sexual assault on the UC Berkeley campus was arrested by authorities in Tennessee over the weekend after a report of a domestic dispute.

The Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, which had previously identified Sheldon Harley Johnson as a wanted fugitive now lists him as “captured.”

Scroll down for updates.

According to NCRIC, he had been wanted for a sexual assault on the Cal campus. No other details about that case were posted.

The University of California Police Department declined Tuesday to provide any information about that incident, but said it would be putting out a crime alert at some point.

The Daily News Journal, which is based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, reported Tuesday morning that Johnson was arrested during a call involving a domestic dispute over the weekend.  … Continue reading »

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2 Berkeley officials call for Fulton Street bike lane

Bike East Bay says a protected bike lane like this on Fulton Street would make cyclists safer. Image: Bike East Bay
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and mayoral hopeful Councilman Jesse Arreguín have teamed up to ask the city manager to move quickly to extend a bike lane two blocks south on Fulton Street by the site of a near-fatal crash involving a cyclist and vehicle in February.

In a Berkeley City Council consent calendar item scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, they ask the “City Manager and Transportation staff to prioritize and expedite the installation of a bicycle lane on Fulton Street between Bancroft Way and Channing Way.”

The council item notes that the city needs to conduct a traffic study and public hearing before a new bike lane could be installed.

“This item urges staff to prioritize completion of all steps necessary to install the bike lane by May 12, 2016, Bike to Work Day or as expeditiously as possible thereafter,” according to the brief report. There is a bike lane on Fulton Street north of Bancroft Way but it ends at that intersection.

Advocacy group Bike East Bay has been actively pushing for that extension since last year when the street was repaved, and say city bike planning documents already lay the groundwork for making it happen. They renewed calls for the lane after Megan Schwarzman, a mother, medical doctor and UC Berkeley scientist, was struck by a driver Feb. 2 at Fulton and Bancroft Way and critically injured.  … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley assistant basketball coach fired over claims of sexual harassment

Yann Hufnagel. Photo: CalBears
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See statement from UC Berkeley at foot of story as well as a link to the redacted investigative report. 

On Sunday, the Cal men’s basketball team was celebrating its highest ever NCAA tournament seeding after securing the #4 seed in the southern region tournament. Monday morning brought different news to the program, however, with the firing of assistant coach Yann Hufnagel for violating the university’s sexual harassment policy.

No details were released on the investigation into Hufnagel by the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). But the swift action stands in contrast to the initial discipline meted out to former law school dean Sujit Choudhry, who resigned last week when a lawsuit made an OPHD investigation public, or astronomy professor Geoff Marcy, who resigned last October after Buzzfeed uncovered details of his OPHD investigation.

Also last week, UC President Janet Napolitano terminated an arrangement whereby former UC Berkeley vice chancellor for research Graham Fleming, who resigned last April following sexual harassment allegations, remained an ambassador for Berkeley’s planned Global Campus in Richmond. … Continue reading »

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Update: Police believe new sexual assault in Berkeley is linked to prior attacks

Image: Google Maps
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Update, 5:30 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has announced it believes this most recent sexual assault is linked to several sexual assaults around campus in February.

Scroll down for video of the man police believe to be responsible.

According to a statement from BPD on Saturday evening, the victim in this most recent incident was a 21-year-old woman who fought back against her assailant. Unlike the victims in the prior incidents, she was not Asian.

The man was described as Hispanic, in his mid-20s to early 30s, unshaven and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. Police said that, though this description differed slightly from prior descriptions, they believe the suspect could be the same person.

“We believe that the incident relates to previous assaults in the South Campus area,” police said in Saturday’s statement. “Detectives are seeking the community’s help in identifying the suspect.”

Scroll to the bottom of this story to learn how to contact police. Read more about the prior incidents.

Original story, 2:28 p.m. Police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a UC Berkeley student early Saturday, authorities have announced. The incident took place at 12:09 a.m. in the 2500 block of Etna Street, near Dwight Way.

The female victim, whose age was not released, was “approached from behind by the male suspect who dragged her off of the sidewalk and sexually assaulted her.” Police released no further details about the nature of the attack. … Continue reading »

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From Berkeley startup incubator, a ‘smart’ vibrator is born

Liz Klinger is CEO and co-founder of Lioness. (UC Berkeley photo by Anne Brice)
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By Anne Brice / Berkeley News

These days so many of our devices are smart. Our phones are smart. Our cars are smart. Our TVs are smart. And now, even vibrators can be smart.

That’s right. Now a vibrator can provide the data a woman needs to reach her destination free of detours, traffic tie-ups and road rage.

It’s called Lioness. It’s a sleek, sophisticated vibrator that works kind of like a running app on your smartphone, but instead of mapping the distance and terrain of a route, it records a person’s sexual arousal states.

Liz Klinger is the CEO and co-founder of Lioness. She and her team work out of SkyDeck, UC Berkeley’s incubator for startups. She says her upbringing inspired her to pursue a career in sexual health. … Continue reading »

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