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News Briefs

09 April 2008

Sustainability summit offers free lunch to keynote attendees

The campus’s fifth annual Sustainability Summit, expanded to a half-day of activities, will be held Monday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the MLK Jr. Student Union. (Full details will appear in next week’s Berkeleyan.) Those planning to attend the lunchtime keynote address by climate strategist Michel Gelobter may RSVP for a free lunch (catered by Café de la Paz) at bie.berkeley.edu/node/2012.

Flowers about to bloom, student housing set to open in Albany

California poppies, black-eyed Susans, and foxgloves will soon bloom at the Gill Tract in Albany, where a stand of diseased and hazardous Monterey pines was removed during the winter. A carpet of grass and flower seeds was laid last month, beginning restoration of the meadow at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street. (Removal of remaining diseased trees will be scheduled after the spring bird-nesting season is over.) The university and the city of Albany will work together on future plans for planting along the street frontages. This area of the Gill Tract will remain open space, as outlined in the 2004 master plan for University Village.

At the adjacent village, 324 new apartments for student families will open in August, replacing dilapidated World War II-era housing at the site. Further proposed development along the San Pablo Avenue frontage near Monroe Street includes senior housing, a grocery store, and additional small retail shops; a draft environmental-impact report for this proposed project will be available this fall at www.albanyca.org.

Later this spring, temporary portable buildings will go up at Jackson and Monroe streets to house the Albany Police and Fire Departments for an anticipated two-year stay while Albany’s city hall is seismically retrofitted.

Climate-change conference this weekend to feature activists, journalists, scholars

A three-day conference exploring the challenges, conflicts, and politics of climate change in California, sponsored by the campus Institute of Research on Labor and Employment and its California Studies Center, will be held April 11-13 at Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St.

“Changing Climates: Class, Culture, and Politics in the Era of Global Warming” will feature journalists, scholars, and activists discussing “green-collar” jobs, media coverage of climate issues, the environmental impacts of warming on California ports, and the effects of water policy on Northern California’s Native American tribes.

Scheduled speakers include Matt Gonzalez, the former San Francisco supervisor who is independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential running mate; Jackie Goldberg, a former member of the California Assembly, who will deliver the Saturday luncheon keynote address; Port of Oakland Commissioner Margaret Gordon; David Beesley, author of Crow’s Range: An Environmental History of the Sierra Nevada; and Rose Aguilar, host of KALW-FM’s Your Call program.

The conference is free and open to the public; there is a suggested donation of $35 for the general public and $10 for students and low-income attendees. For more information, visit geography.berkeley.edu/projectsresources/CaliforniaStudies/annual_conference.html.

Religious-studies scholar to deliver Foerster Lecture April 17

Religious-studies scholar Bart Ehrman will deliver the annual Foerster Lecture on the Immortality of the Soul on Wednesday, April 17. Ehrman’s lecture, titled “God’s Problem and Human Solutions: How the Bible Explains Suffering,” will commence at 4:10 p.m. in the main auditorium of the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has advanced the academic study of Christianity by posing pressing questions on contemporary New Testament scholarship and traditional Christian beliefs, especially those concerning the Bible. His work includes orthodoxy and heresy in the early Church, the formation of the canon, New Testament manuscript tradition, the historical Jesus, and the apostolic fathers. Ehrman also does historical research on biblical figures such as Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the apostles. His current work deals with translating the apocryphal gospels, the historical transformation of Jesus from a man to God, the changes made to early New Testament texts, and the recently discovered Gospel of Judas and its implications for contemporary Christianity.

Ehrman actively lectures throughout the year at various institutions. He has appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, CNN, the History Channel, and BBC4. His latest book, God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer, ranked among the top-selling 1,000 books on Amazon.com earlier this week.