Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Monday, 29 August 2016

1. UC Berkeley visitor center to open at Memorial Stadium
Berkeleyside

The Koret Visitor Center, a new, permanent, and state-of-the-art welcoming facility for visitors to the Berkeley campus will open at Memorial Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 1. Special features will include themed alcoves, video boards, timelines chronicling the university's history, and an interactive world map showing Berkeley's global impact. "It's a place where guests and visitors from around the world will come to hear the Berkeley story," says La Dawn Duvall, executive director of visitor and parent services. The center was funded by a gift from the Koret Foundation.
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2. Video: New aquatics center to open in September for UC Berkeley swimmers
KRON TV

Water began filling the campus's new Legends Aquatic Center pool on Friday, as it nears its September opening. The pool will greatly expand available training time for Cal's exceptional swim team, and provides an unprecedented training facility for divers, with its 10-meter diving tower. The pool was named for legendary Cal athletes, many of whom provided significant donations to build the pool. Cal-affiliated swimmers won 19 medals at the Rio Olympics this month. Link to video.
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3. UC Berkeley reopens Bowles Hall as residential college
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

Bowles Hall, an historic Tudor mansion in the hills above campus, has reopened following an 11-year restoration project funded by Bowles alumni. The formerly all-male dorm is now a co-ed "residential college." It will house 183 students who will live with five graduate students and three Berkeley faculty. The students will stay there throughout their undergraduate education. "This is such a large university, it's easy for students to slip through the cracks and just become a number," says psychology lecturer Melissa Bayne, the hall's new dean. "Here, they are being fully supported," she says. For more on this, see our story at Berkeley News. Another story on this topic appeared in the CBS SF Bay Area Online (link to video of KPIX TV's broadcast story unavailable online).
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4. Richmond: UC Berkeley Global Campus suspended due to lack of funds
East Bay Times (*requires registration)

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has announced that plans for the proposed Berkeley Global Campus have been suspended due to the university's budget deficit. He said the campus would investigate other development options that "reflect new priorities for the campus around enrollment growth and housing in the near future." Announced two years ago, the global campus was to be an international research facility that would bring together academic, private sector, and community partners to research global challenges. It was also expected to be a boon for the City of Richmond, and Chancellor Dirks assured the city Thursday that the city's interests would remain a priority as the plans change course. Other stories on this topic appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Times, San Francisco Business Times, Richmond Standard, Berkeleyside, and Inside Higher Ed. For more on this, see our campus statement at Berkeley News.
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5. Editorial: Soda taxes imperfect but merit support
East Bay Times (*requires registration)

An editorial endorsing Oakland and Albany soda tax measures cites campus research on the early success of the city of Berkeley's measure, passed in 2014. Stories on this topic appeared in more than 100 sources around the world. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
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6. Wage war: Who are the main economic losers from low-skilled immigration?
The Economist (*requires registration)

Research by economics professor David Card is cited in a story about the impact of low-skilled immigration on the U.S. workforce. In 1990, he found that the Mariel boatlift of Cuban migrants to Miami in 1980 had no effect of the wages of low-skilled workers there. Nationally, he says that the "worst-case scenario" is that immigration has cut the wages of high-school dropouts by about 5% over 20 years, which isn't much, compared to the effects of technology and other trends.
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7. Op-Ed: What have they got to lose? When will black Americans win?
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

"Donald Trump's recent remarks to the African American community ring hollow, especially to black parents concerned about their children," writes social welfare professor Jill Duerr Berrick, co-director of Berkeley's Center for Child and Youth Policy. Regarding his claim that his "Make America Great Again" campaign addresses centuries of injustice, she inquires when it was great for them. She concludes: "America can be great, but making it so means creating equal opportunities for all children to get a healthy start in life, to live in safe neighborhoods, to access high quality child care, to go to strong schools, and to see their parents working in good-paying jobs. ... America will be great when children's life outcomes are determined by their hard work, their determination or perhaps their generosity to others. America will be great when we realize the potential of 'justice for all.'"
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8. Why it Matters: Climate Change
New York Times (*requires registration)

An issue brief on climate change cites a 2015 study co-authored by Berkeley researchers, which estimated that the world's average income will be down 23 percent by the year 2100 if carbon dioxide pollution goes unchecked.
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9. Do You Believe in God, or Is That a Software Glitch?
New York Times (*requires registration)

A glitch in the software used by brain-imaging researchers to interpret functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fM.R.I., scans may lead to false positives for brain activity as much as 70 percent of the time, a recent study has found. The study highlights transparency problems in that area of research, and according to senior researcher Jean-Baptiste Poline, of Berkeley's Brain Imaging Center, one issue has to do with a lack of data-sharing in the field. "People feel they are giving up a competitive advantage" if they share data and detail their analyses, he says. "Even if their work is funded by the government, they see it as their data. This is the wrong attitude because it should be for the benefit of society and the research community."
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10. Spyware firm tied to iPhone hack has U.S. ties
USA Today

Apple issued an emergency patch last week to address an iPhone hack linked to NSO Group, a spyware firm with ties to Israel's military cyber division, and law professor and cyber crime expert Chris Hoofnagle suggests the availability of this kind of hacking software can be attributed to Apple's reluctance to provide law enforcement with back-door access to encryption. "We are at this place because of law enforcement frustration with access to data in investigations. And so we are going to continue to see law enforcement agencies, even from legitimate democratic states, buying 'hacking tools' so that crimes that occur within their own borders can be investigated," he says.
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11. Even after reforms, the state's energy regulator can still have private meetings with utility companies
Los Angeles Times (*requires registration)

A package of bills aiming to reform the California Public Utilities Commission is under consideration in the legislature, and one of its goals is to prevent private meetings between utilities and their regulators. A 2014 study by Berkeley's Center for Law, Energy & the Environment noted that the federal government and a majority of other states with similar regulatory bodies don't allow ex parte communications, or discussions in which all interested parties aren't present. "There's a huge concern about the fairness of the process when certain parties can gain access to decision-makers behind closed doors," said report co-author Deborah Behles. Public policy lecturer Steven Weissman was quoted in another story about the PUC in the Los Angeles Times.
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12. Puerto Rico: An island's exodus
Financial Times (*requires registration)

The severe economic crisis in Puerto Rico is driving away huge numbers of its population, and Professor Harley Shaiken, chair of the Center for Latin American Studies, says: "In so many ways this is a 21st century version of the Okies and the Dust Bowl [migrations] in the US in the 1930s. ... The difference is these people are crossing an ocean."
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13. Did fall from tree kill famous human ancestor Lucy?
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

Paleoanthropologist Tim White takes issue with a new study concluding that human ancestor Lucy likely fell from a tree to her death. He calls the study's theory a "misdiagnosis." The researchers "appear to have focused only on the cracks that they could attribute to an imagined fall, ignoring the additional abundant cracks," he says.
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14. Why Facebook, other Bay Area tech companies are haven for artists
East Bay Times (*requires registration)

Artists are increasingly finding work in Bay Area tech offices, which are hiring them to create artistic murals, sculpture and other inspirational decor. Shannon Jackson, Berkeley's associate vice chancellor for the arts and design, comments on the trend, saying: "The idea of an artist in residence in a business environment is something that comes and goes. ... It's not a Silicon Valley invention, but there are different reasons why it gets rekindled." In addition to inspiring employees who are trying to come up with the next big idea or solve problems, he says the programs are another way of financially supporting creative work.
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15. Cal Bears in Australia attract 61,000 fans to Sydney game
East Bay Times (*requires registration)

Cal's football team scored a 51-31 victory over Hawaii in their unusual season-opener in Sydney, Australia, Saturday. The game attracted 61,247 spectators, and Coach Sonny Dykes says it was a good starting point for the team. "There is still plenty of work to be done, but overall we played a very good game and never let them get back into it," he says.
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