Tag Archives: UC Berkeley

Unveiled: Full program for Uncharted Ideas Festival

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The full program for the third annual Uncharted Ideas Festival was unveiled today, and is published below. The festival takes place at the Berkeley Rep, the Freight & Salvage, and on the UC Berkeley campus in downtown Berkeley on Friday Oct. 16 and Saturday Oct. 17.

Full details of speakers and performers at BerkeleyIdeas.com
Register for a one- or two-day ticket now.

Day 1 — Friday, October 16

8:00-9:00  Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse lobby
Coffee, Berkeley Rep courtyard
Music by the Michael LaMacchia Trio

9-11:00  Roda Theatre, Berkeley Rep
Opening session
Lance Knobel, Curator, Uncharted

The adaptable mind
Tiffany Shlain in conversation with Peter Leyden

Criminal justice 2.0
Alex Kozinski in conversation with William Turner

Pop-up performance: Meklit Hadero

Liberty and drugs
Ethan Nadelmann in conversation with Frances Dinkelspiel

11:00-11:30 Berkeley Rep courtyard
Coffee break

11:30-1:00 Roda Theatre, Berkeley Rep
Morning session

What next for #BlackLivesMatter?
Pastor Michael McBride in conversation with Joshua Johnson

How I learned to stop worrying and love drones
Chris Anderson in conversation with Peter LeydenContinue 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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Jamelle Bouie, Anna Lappé, Meklit, Patrick Dooley sign up for Uncharted Ideas Festival in Berkeley

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The line-up of speakers and performers for the 2015 Uncharted Festival of Ideas is almost complete. Here are just a few of those who have recently confirmed:

  • Meklit Hadero The Ethio-American singer-songwriter co-founded The Nile Project, and her music bridges the frontiers between language, tribes and disciplines.
  • Anna Lappé, co-founder with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund, is helping us reevaluate the way we think about food.
  • Patrick Dooley, who founded Shotgun Players in 1992 in the basement of a pizza parlor, is committed to theater as a form of activism. Dooley will be in conversation with culture wirter Scott Timberg, whose latest book is Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class.
  • Joshua Johnson, Johnson, the morning newscaster on KQED and guest-host of public affairs program “Forum,” recently launched the “So Well Spoken” segment and podcast. Johnson will be talking to Pastor Michael McBride, a national leader in the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Sandra Gilbert Gilbert is a pioneering feminist critic who has most recently published Rereading Women: Thirty Years of Exploring Our Literary Traditions.

Continue reading »

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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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UC Berkeley launches minor in food systems studies

Classes at the SOGA (Student Organic Gardening Association) Garden can now also be taken for credit towards the food systems minor. (Jonathan Fong)
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By Alix Wall / Bay Area Bites

Beginning this fall, UC Berkeley students interested in studying how the food system works can now obtain a minor in it.

“The study of food systems is a relatively new field,” said Kathryn De Master, assistant professor of agriculture, society and environment, who along with her colleague Alastair Iles, associate professor of environmental science, policy and management, are serving as the minor’s faculty advisors.

According to the food system minor’s website, the minor is:

“an interdisciplinary program of study that explores the role of food within the environment and society. Drawing from diverse fields as far ranging as ecology, sociology, the humanities, nutrition, history, and economics, the food systems minor critically examines issues of contemporary food and agriculture from a whole-systems perspective.”

“Majors and minors in food systems are pretty new study emphases, having become more popular in the last 10 or more years,” said De Master. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley condo project set for latest review

1951 Shattuck Ave. Image: the bay architects
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A 12-story building set to include 92 condominiums and nearly 12,000 square feet of commercial space could get its penultimate review from Berkeley’s Design Review Committee tonight, Aug. 20.

The 120-foot-tall building would, if approved, take the place of one- and two-story buildings that currently exist on the block, housing several local businesses, including Berkeley Vacuum, the Missing Link annex and the Cutaway hair salon.

The project, at 1951-1975 Shattuck Avenue, at Berkeley Way, would be just north of the approved but not yet built Acheson Commons, and across the street from Berkeley Way West, a proposed UC Berkeley project that is slated to house several departments for the campus.

Read more about tall building projects in Berkeley.

The project could become one of seven new tall buildings downtown from 120 to 180 feet tall approved by voters during the Downtown Area Plan process in recent years. Two of those sites are reserved for UC Berkeley.

The San Francisco-based Nasser family first submitted its plans for 1951 Shattuck in December 2013. In June 2014, the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board offered preliminary feedback to the project team. … Continue reading »

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UC Gill Tract Farm blooms amidst controversy

Melanie Charles, Mark Jones and Julia Raskin pick weeds at the Gill Tract farm on a recent Tuesday night. Photo: Kathleen Costanza.
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On a Sunday in early August, about 20 volunteers milled around the UC Gill Tract Community Farm, plucking weeds, harvesting tomatoes and weighing buckets brimming with leafy kale.

“What are we supposed to do with aphids again?” said Vivek Nath, a first-time volunteer, as he bent over to pick broccolini.

“They’re the little green bugs, you take off the pieces with a lot of them,” replied fellow volunteer Allen Barth. “Chickens like to eat ‘em.”

A collaborative project between UC Berkeley and the public, the UC Gill Tract Community Farm is a year-and-a-half old urban farm that has sprouted up on land embroiled in years-long controversy. Open six days a week, people can harvest organic produce in exchange for help weeding, watering or planting. On Sundays, volunteers set up a farm stand where all the food is free or offered for a donation. … Continue reading »

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On Berkeley time? He keeps Campanile’s clocks ticking

Art Simmons has been keeping the Campanile clocks going for the past 20 years. (UC Berkeley photo by Anne Brice)
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By Anne Brice/UC Berkeley News

The Campanile clock tower is the campus’s North Star. At 100 years old and 307 feet tall, it’s a landmark everyone knows and trusts. But what happens when the clocks stop? There’s only one person to call: Art Simmons.

“Everybody in Berkeley watches those clocks,” says Simmons. “Not just the people on campus. So when the clocks stop, the whole city knows about it and it doesn’t look good.”

Read more stories about the UC Berkeley Campanile and Campanile Way

Simmons started working at Berkeley as an electrician 20 years ago. Because the person who took care of the clocks had just retired, Simmons inherited them as his responsibility. “I had no choice, it was in my zone,” he says. “They said, ‘It’s your baby, keep it going.’ So it was a lot of pressure to keep those clocks running and keep them running right.” … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley police lay ‘bait’ for bike thieves on campus

bike reflection by pete rosos
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For over seven months, the UC Berkeley police have been surreptitiously planting bicycles equipped with tracking technology throughout campus in hopes of catching bike thieves.

The Bait Bike Program was kept confidential during the spring semester, but UCPD announced earlier this month that 31 arrests have been made since the initiative quietly went live in January. Reported bike thefts are down 45%, the department said in a press release.

“The word was starting to get out a little bit so we figured we would go ahead and let the community know we are trying to do something to impact the theft of bicycles,” said UCPD Lieutenant Marc DeCoulode. … Continue reading »

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In Berkeley, protesters get naked to try to save trees

Protesters get naked in the eucalyptus grove at the Grinnell Natural Area of UC Berkeley on Saturday July 18, 2015 to show opposition to tree cutting proposal. Photo: Ted Friedman
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An estimated 50-75 people took part in a staged protest today at a eucalyptus grove on the UC Berkeley campus, many of them stripping naked in doing so, to make clear their opposition to a proposed FEMA-funded tree-clearing program in the East Bay hills.

The event was orchestrated by the Tree Spirit Project whose mission is “to raise awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally and personally.” Jack Gescheidt, who founded the project, does this partly by taking fine-art photographs of people, often naked, communing with trees and nature.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in March allocated $5.7 million to the California Office of Emergency Services to remove eucalyptus trees as part of fire hazard abatement in Claremont Canyon — scene of a devastating wildfire in 1991 — and other nearby areas, such as Tilden Park and Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. The funds will be distributed to UC Berkeley, the city of Oakland, and the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). … Continue reading »

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Lower Sproul restaurants, bar opening this fall

Photo: Equator Coffee
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Cal’s Lower Sproul Plaza is scheduled to re-open in the fall after two years of construction with a new selection of food, coffee and drink purveyors, all of which will be open to the public. The choice will include a burger joint, a salad and sandwich spot, a pizza place and a Mexican restaurant.

The Lower Sproul Plaza Redevelopment program, construction for which began in early 2013, replaces the old, seismically unsound Eshleman Hall with a 50% larger (though shorter) building. It will house the MLK Jr. Student Union which has been upgraded with the addition of a new space on the sides facing Lower Sproul and Bancroft Way, among other renovations.

The new food options will include four restaurants on the plaza level, two coffee shops and a Bear’s Lair Bar and Kitchen at the west end of Eshleman. The dining commons in MLK will have a small stage for student performances and DJs. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley council to hear Campanile Way landmark appeal

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The group of Berkeley residents that lost a petition to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the view from Campanile Way is now appealing that decision before the City Council tonight. The group, led by former LPC Commissioner Steven Finacom, is concerned that a development at 2211 Harold Way would mar what they argue is a historic view.

Read more about what’s coming up at tonight’s council meeting.

The LPC voted 5-3, with one abstention, against landmarking the path and its view, though nearly everyone at the meeting agreed that the view is fantastic. The commissioners were divided about how much the 18-story development would impact the view. Even if the petition had passed, some commissioners argued, UC Berkeley is not governed by local ordinances and would not be legally required to pay attention to the ruling. … Continue reading »

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