Tag Archives: UC Berkeley

Remembering David Littlejohn, critic and UC Berkeley journalism professor

David Littlejohn. Photo: courtesy of the family
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David Littlejohn, a popular and prolific arts critic, author, former public television host, and a professor emeritus of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, died peacefully, June 4, at his home in Kensington, California after a long physical decline. He was 78. 

Throughout his career, he wrote a sweeping array of books, novels, and essays, but regarded himself primarily as a critic and teacher.

He taught undergraduate and graduate courses at UC Berkeley from 1963-1998, … Continue reading »

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Goats swarm across road, stop traffic in Berkeley Hills

Goats still
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A herd of grass-munching goats swarmed across Cyclotron Road in the Berkeley Hills last week on the way to another plant-clearing mission below Blackberry Gate.

The goats are part of Berkeley Lab’s vegetation management plan to trim abundant grasslands and reduce fire hazards.

Read more about animals in Berkeley.

Berkeley Lab posted a video of the goats on the move to its Facebook page on June 12. The video was shot by Lab employee David Stein (while he was apparently listening to KQED radio!). It proved so popular that it has been viewed more than 2 million times on Facebook since then, helped no doubt by the fact that Berkeleyside reposted it to its Facebook page, and it was then picked up by other media, including NBC, CNN and the Huffington Post. (Watch the video below the fold.) … Continue reading »

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Mark Bittman: Berkeley has got a hold on him

Mark Bittman with Saru Jayaraman at Manifesto Café in Los Angeles. Photo: University of California
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Mark Bittman is driving around rural Massachusetts and he’s lost. Then he figures out a shortcut and our phone conversation is back on track. I assume he’s on assignment — after all he has just launched a video series shot around California precisely, he tells me, because he wanted an excuse to get out and about across the state and “talk about food” — but I am told that’s not strictly the case. “My eldest daughter is getting married,” he explains. “Why else would I be in rural Massachusetts?”

The New York Times writer and bestselling cookbook author has been on an assignment of a different nature recently — for the past semester he has been a distinguished visiting fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute at UC Berkeley.

And he has enjoyed his time teaching at Cal and living in North Berkeley so much he has decided to stick around. He says he has committed to staying another year, working at Cal, probably in a couple of different roles “that have university affiliations.” He hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet, so is reluctant to say more. … Continue reading »

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Police report mistakes, challenges in Berkeley protests

Protesters and police clashed Dec. 6, 2014, during a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Photo: Gael McKeon
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Berkeley police officers used 50 tear gas grenades and “blast rounds” to clear Telegraph Avenue during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in December, but police officials declined to say Wednesday night whether that had been excessive.

The June 10 meeting before the city’s Police Review Commission was the citizen panel’s first chance to ask officers specific questions about the anti-police protests in Berkeley in December, following the release on Tuesday of a 161-page report completed by the department to analyze its response to the demonstrations.

After being charged with the task earlier this year by the Berkeley City Council, the PRC is working to complete its own investigation: questioning authorities, reviewing the police report, examining original documents and interviewing witnesses. Council asked the PRC to come back with its findings within six months.

Read past Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told commissioners Wednesday night that, without “a full discussion about the facts and circumstances at the moments those decisions were made” — regarding tear gas use on Telegraph Avenue on Dec. 6-7, 2014 — he could not say whether an appropriate amount had been used or not. 

“It’s a discussion I think we should have,” Meehan said.

The time for that discussion, however, was apparently not Wednesday night. Meehan stressed that the department’s focus while doing its report had been to find strategies to avoid getting into situations where force becomes necessary. He noted that, once officers witness crimes being committed or are “already under attack, their options are limited.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Developers should permanently share with the Berkeley community the wealth created by tall buildings

2211 Harold Way is one of several tall building proposals in the pipeline that must offer "significant community benefits" under the Downtown Area Plan. Image: MVEI Architecture and Planning
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With respect for this community as a whole, I believe Berkeley City Council’s most fundamental objectives regarding downtown development have little if anything to do with funding housing for families with low and moderate incomes. Yes, better designs and development of such housing with everything needed to support it are critical to future life in the East Bay and Bay Area. But no, pressing needs for such housing are not even close to the most important goals our city council … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Op-ed: UC should re-invest its fossil-fuel portfolio in renewable energy

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As a Cal alumna, I’ve been rooting for my alma mater to be among the first universities to divest from fossil fuels. Alas, Stanford, SF State and Peralta, along with dozens of other universities, religious institutions and cities, including Berkeley, San Francisco, Richmond and Oakland, have already shown us up, divesting billions from the oil, gas and coal companies that are cooking the planet. Yesterday, I put some skin in the game with a pledge to donate $500 to … Continue reading »

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Bill de Blasio talks inequality with Robert Reich

Robert Reich and Bill de Blasio. Phot: courtesy Goldman School of Public Policy
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“Use your stature” to show leadership on inequality Robert Reich urged New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at the conclusion of a conversation the two of them held in Berkeley today at an event partly sponsored by the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and the Economic Inequality Media Project.

It wasn’t the only joke the UC Berkeley professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor — who, unlike de Blasio is not tall — made about the mayor’s height. When the two first appeared on stage at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse at around 12:30 p.m. they linked arms and Reich proclaimed: “We embody inequality!” … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Op-ed: A response to the UC Berkeley student who said community colleges should not exist

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On May 4, the following statement was posted on the UC Berkeley Confessions Facebook Page. This page is for UC Berkeley students to post confessions, especially during finals, and in the first 19 hours after it was posted, it had already garnered over 75 comments, and several “shares” and “likes.”

“Anyone else wish community college didn’t exist?

I worked my fucking ass off in high school to get to this school while the kids who just fucked around and got C’s … Continue reading »

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Photos: Hundreds march, light candles at vigil for Nepal

People hold hands and observe a moment of silence at a candlelight vigil on the University of California campus, in Berkeley, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, to bring attention to the victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25. Several hundred people participated in the vigil, sponsored by the Nepali Student Association. Photo: David Yee ©2015
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The Nepali Student Association at UC Berkeley organized a vigil Wednesday night to raise awareness and funds after the April 25 earthquake that killed thousands and has devastated many parts of the country.

People began gathering on Sproul Plaza shortly before 7:00 p.m. after which they marched in silence to the area in front of Wheeler Hall where they lit candles and arranged them to spell “Stay Strong Nepal.” The organizers then photographed the group around the candles from overhead, using a drone. They hope to use the images to bring attention to the plight of the victims of the quake.

Berkeleyside sent photographer David Yee to document the event.

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Photos: Cal Day draws thousands to UC Berkeley campus

Cal Day 2015. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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The UC Berkeley campus was teeming with life and a host of free celebratory events on Saturday for the annual Cal Day. At its core, Cal Day is for newly admitted students, but a majority of the activities are designed to appeal to the broader community. Among the highlights this year were performances by San Francisco-based vertical dance company Bandaloop who helped mark the centennial of the Campanile by, literally, jumping off its roof. (See Cal Day’s full program.)

And, like any Cal event, there was a bit of politics on offer. Members of the Black Student Union blocked Sather Gate in the morning to protest the university environment for Black students. The BSU redirected visitors as a way of pressuring Cal Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to respond to ten demands it submitted three months ago.

Contributing photographer Nancy Rubin captured the day for us. … Continue reading »

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Robert Reich makes the case for $15 minimum wage

UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich at a McDonald's in Oakland on the morning of April 15, 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Fight for 15, the campaign for an increase in the minimum wage, hit the streets of Berkeley and Oakland yesterday.

UC Berkeley Professor Robert Reich was at the center of the protest in Oakland’s Temescal district in the morning. He gave a rousing, impromptu speech on the importance of the campaign. (Watch the 2-minute speech in the video below, exclusively published by Berkeleyside.) … Continue reading »

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‘Fight for 15’ protesters march in Berkeley, Oakland

Fight for 15 marchers. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Update, 6:27 p.m. The intersection is now open, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

Update, 6 p.m. As per the Berkeley Police Department, “The intersection of University and Shattuck is closed due to a demonstration. It is unknown when the intersection will reopen.”

Original post, 5:01 p.m. As supporters of increasing the minimum wage to $15 marched through Berkeley late Wednesday afternoon, authorities warned of traffic and delays in the area, and helicopters hovered overhead to capture the action.

“Due to a protest march along Bancroft Way, Shattuck Avenue, University Avenue, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way/Milvia Street, there will be delays and possible detours in the downtown Berkeley area tonight, April 15,” according to an email alert sent by AC Transit at 4:46 p.m. … Continue reading »

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‘Fight for 15’ rallies planned for East Bay on April 15

Fast food workers march in Oakland in December. Photo: Annette Bernhardt/Flickr
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This Wednesday, Bay Area workers and activists plan to take to the streets as part of a worldwide mobilization of low-wage workers demanding higher pay.

Fight for 15, a national organization launched in 2012 and funded by major labor unions, is calling for a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. Organizers say this week’s protests will be their largest action to date — and, they claim, perhaps the most widespread workers’ protest in U.S. history. Over 200 U.S. cities will see strikes and workers’ rallies, while sympathetic actions will occur on six continents.

Across the Bay Area, fast-food workers are preparing to walk off the job to protest low wages. These workers will form the heart of rallies and marches in Oakland and Berkeley that will also include home-care and childcare providers, industrial laundry, airport and Walmart workers. … Continue reading »

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