Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

1. UC Berkeley keeps No. 1 public university crown for 16th year
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

For sixteen years in a row, UC Berkeley has been ranked the No. 1 public university in the country in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of American colleges. Full Story

2. Air pollution linked to heart-disease deaths
San Francisco Chronicle

A new Berkeley-led study has linked air pollution, particularly ozone, to increased risk of death from heart disease. Full Story

3. Wonkblog: How the 1 percent won the recovery, in one table
Washington Post Online

A table provided by economics professor Emmanuel Saez demonstrates how the richest 1 percent of the U.S. population suffered only 49 percent of the decline in incomes during the recession, yet they have enjoyed 95 percent of the income gains since the recovery started. This represents a significant change from past recoveries, which were more evenly shared. Full Story

4. Quotation of the Day
Washington Post

A "Quote of the Day" comes from economics professor Emmanuel Saez: “We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable.” His comment accompanied the release of a study he coauthored finding that the wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country’s household income in 2012 -- their biggest share since 1928. Stories on this research appeared in more than 100 sources worldwide, including the Wall Street Journal Online, Los Angeles Times, and NPR Online. Full Story

5. Real Time Economics Blog: Academic Economists Jump Into Lobbying for Top Fed Post
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

Hundreds of economists nationwide have written a letter urging President Obama to select Berkeley economics professor emeritus Janet Yellen to be Ben Bernanke's successor as Chair of the Federal Reserve. The signers include Berkeley professors Christina Romer, David Romer, and Laura Tyson. Another story on this topic appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Full Story

6. Myriad languages, cultures challenge health reform
San Francisco Chronicle

In a story about implementation of the Affordable Care Act, a study coauthored by researchers as the Berkeley Labor Center is cited. The study found that two-thirds of the estimated 2.6 million adults who will be eligible for federal subsidies in the health care exchange will be people of color, while roughly 1 million will speak English imperfectly. Due to this diversity, the authors concluded that the law's success "hinges in large part on how well the state conducts culturally and linguistically competent outreach and enrollment efforts." Full Story

7. Real Time Economics Blog: Secondary Sources Asia: India Central Bank Independence, End of the BRICs Party, China’s Local Debt
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

Economics professor Barry Eichengreen has co-authored a report on the transparency and independence of 89 central banks around the world. In the ranking, India scores last for independence. At 82nd place, the U.S. also scored poorly for independence, because the Federal Reserve is “not subject to statutory restrictions on its lending to the government,” but it did score higher in the transparency measure. Full Story

8. Andrew Ross Column
San Francisco Chronicle

Economics professor Enrico Moretti is giving a presentation at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's Forecast 2013 conference on Wednesday, discussing the local economy. "The real reason why our economy is doing well is that the growth of high tech generates wealth that supports the 65 percent of workers who are employed in local (nontech) services," he says. "It is not just about high-tech jobs. It is about jobs for the majority of us who will never work in high tech." [Scroll down to "The real deal" at the source.] Full Story

9. Dot Earth Blog: From the Fire Hose: Warming Slowdown, Deep-Ocean Waves, Canadian Crude
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

Zeke Hausfather, a data analyst at the Berkeley Earth project, has issued a paper examining what's known and not known about what some climate scientists have observed as a pause in global warming. Berkeley Earth is an independent climate science nonprofit cofounded by Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller. Full Story

10. Mt. Diablo fire likely caused by person, experts say
San Francisco Chronicle

Fire investigators are trying to identify what sparked the Morgan Fire on Mount Diablo on Sunday. According to Berkeley forestry specialist William Stewart: "Investigators have seen every trick in the book, and this one seems to be pretty typical. ... Most fires in California are started near roads and most involve people, and they leave a lot of clues. ... They'll probably figure this one out." Berkeley environmental science professor Scott Stephens says that agents can figure out the direction of a fire by noting which way leaves or grasses lean after being "freeze-dried" by flames and having wind pass over them. Evidence of the varying death rates of shrubs and grasses is also examined. "Most fires burn less intensely at first, so you'll have a lower shrub mortality rate at the ignition spot," Professor Stephens says. Full Story

11. Bay Area House members frequently miss votes
San Francisco Chronicle

Political science professor Eric Schickler and public policy dean Henry Brady weigh in on the voting records of California Democrats in the House of Representatives. Professor Schickler says: "For Democrats in the House right now, there's a sense that the vast majority of important roll-call votes are not going to be pivotal -- and they're probably getting less pressure from leaders to be there. ... For a lot of day-to-day stuff going on, there's a sense of 'Why should I go to this?' ... They know they will lose the vote and they feel they can spend time more productively in their districts." Dean Brady notes that California House members are also hampered by their five- to six-hour commutes to Washington from their districts. "The distance does make it hard for them to get back" to Washington early Monday, he says. "The Democrats weren't that important and often the votes were highly symbolic: How many times can you continue to vote on (defunding) Obamacare?" Full Story

12. Op-Ed: Deukmejian had it right - rehab, not cells
San Francisco Chronicle

Senior law fellow Barry Krisberg writes that the "best ideas to fix the California prison crisis were produced over a decade ago by law-and-order Republican George Deukmejian." Arguing that the current proposals of Senators Darrell Steinberg, Loni Hancock, Mark Leno, and others are the best solution now, he concludes: "The time for wasting public funds for illusionary fixes to our prisons has run out." Full Story

13. Google can face wiretap claims in Street View suits, court says
Los Angeles Times

Information professor Deirdre Mulligan comments on a federal appeals court's decision not to dismiss a civil lawsuit charging Google Inc. of violating federal wiretapping law when its Street View program acquired sensitive personal data from unencrypted wireless networks. She says that the protection of personal data should not depend on "whether or not someone is sophisticated enough to secure their wireless network," and that the case "illustrates once again how desperately we need to clarify our protections for electronic communications." Full Story

14. Apple's iPhone marketing takes fashion catwalk
USA Today

Accounting professor and chair Richard Sloan comments on Apple's colorful new iPhone 5c line, saying: "People a year ago were queued up for the iPhone 5, but it will be interesting to see if they will do the same. ... The valuation of Apple depends far more on their ability to innovate moving forward." Full Story

15. Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?
New York Times Magazine (Global Edition) (*requires registration)

Journalism lecturer Jennifer Kahn writes about the teaching of emotional intelligence in schools. Full Story

16. Clash in Court over Alleged UC Berkeley Police Brutality
Berkeley Patch

A federal judge is hearing arguments this week in the lawsuit filed by the activist group By Any Means Necessary and other protesters, alleging that UC Berkeley and various police agencies violated their free speech rights during protests on November 9, 2011. Full Story

17. Concussion experts gather in Santa Clara to talk about concussions in sports
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

Dr. Cindy Chang, UC Berkeley's team physician, will be one of the featured panelists at a Santa Clara University symposium examining the crisis of head trauma in sport on Thursday. Referring to the recent settlement of an NFL lawsuit, she says: "People are starting to look at the game differently because we're seeing the damage." After celebrating a big hit, she says fans are "then realizing 'Hey, maybe I shouldn't be cheering.' " Full Story

18. Take advantage of coming rain with fall plant sales
San Francisco Chronicle

The University of California Botanical Garden will hold its annual fall plant sale on Sunday, September 29. For more information, visit: Full Story

Today's Edition of UC Berkeley in the News