Berkeley in the News Archive

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Monday, 12 May 2014

1. Lawyers David Boies, Ted Olson inspire UC Berkeley law grads
San Francisco Chronicle

Alumni Theodore Olson and David Boies, two attorneys who together defeated California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, were the keynote speakers at the law school's commencement ceremony at the Greek Theatre on Saturday. Acting Dean Gillian Lester said that this year's diverse graduating class of law students -- 57 percent of whom are women and 42 percent people of color -- chose the keynote speakers "because they were inspired by their common goal of marriage equality." Boies told the graduates: "Embrace a diversity of ideas. Embrace the fact that you can disagree with people and not be disagreeable. Embrace the fact that you can find common ground -- if you disagree on nine out of 10 things, but can find common ground on that 10th, maybe you can make progress. ... If you can find common ground, you can accomplish great things." Other speakers included Dean Lester, lecturer-in-residence Kristen Holmquist, class co-Presidents Cathy Kwon and James Unger and graduate student Kirian Claeye. An Associated Press story on this topic also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Full Story

2. UC astronomers fight to save Lick Observatory
San Francisco Chronicle

Astronomy professor Alex Filippenko is among a group of UC astronomers fighting to save the historic, 125-year-old Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton from closure due to discontinued funding. "The observatory is a fantastic bang for the buck," says Professor Filippenko, whose specialized automatic telescope at Lick played a major role in the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics awarded to his Berkeley colleague Saul Perlmutter for discovering the mysterious "dark energy" that pervades the universe. "Lick is a vibrant research facility, Professor Filippenko says. "It is used to develop and test new instruments, it provides hands-on training and inspiration for undergraduate and graduate students, and its telescopes are essential to the work of many senior astronomers." Full Story

3. UC out-of-state students increase as Californians' admissions slow
Oakland Tribune

An article on out-of-state student enrollment in California mentions that UC Berkeley enrolled 800 fewer California freshmen this academic year than in 2009, but it accepted about 580 more from other states and about 500 more from other countries. Experts and policymakers say that reducing the number of out-of-state students would not make it easier for Californians to find a place at UC Berkeley or other campuses, since cutting off the extra tuition that nonresident students pay would mean fewer spaces and less financial aid. John Wilton, Berkeley's vice chancellor for administration and finance, says that Berkeley gets less than half of what it did from the state a decade ago, in inflation-adjusted dollars. On the other hand, its revenue from out-of-state and international students has grown to about $160 million, about 7 percent of its annual operating budget and more than half of its state subsidy. Full Story

4. Real-Inter Milan exhibition moved to California
Washington Post

The July 26 preseason soccer game between Real Madrid and Inter Milan has been moved to Berkeley's Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. Originally, the game was to be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The match is part of the Guinness International Champions Cup, which also includes Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, AC Milan, Roma and Olimpiakos. Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle Online, KQED Online, El Tiempo (in Spanish), and World Journal (in Chinese -- link unavailable online). Full Story

5. Road to rebirth? S.F.'s post-freeway Octavia may be a model
San Francisco Chronicle

Associate environmental design professor Elizabeth Macdonald and her firm, Jacobs Macdonald: Cityworks, designed Octavia Boulevard in cooperation with the city's Department of Public Works. The five blocks of Hayes Valley that used to be the site of a double-deck freeway is now densely landscaped and ends in a small park. A group of East Coast visitors came to see how it was done, and Professor Macdonald met them. "One of the big issues we faced was the transition of the freeway to the city," she said. "Touching down at Market Street has some issues." Full Story

6. Op-Ed: The Benefits of Mixing Rich and Poor
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Public policy professor David Kirp writes about President Obama's support of significant federal investment in early education and about critics' responses that hold up Head Start as a "been there, done that" failure. Acknowledging that the Head Start program is flawed, he suggests ways for it to "realize its potential," primarily by "breaking out of the antipoverty mold" and encouraging all children to enroll. He concludes: "For the better part of two centuries, public education, available to all and equal for all, has been a bedrock American principle. Imagine the outrage if a school district created pauper classes for first graders. Why should preschoolers be treated differently?" Full Story

7. Charters, Public Schools and a Chasm Between
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Education and public policy professor Bruce Fuller finds it unsurprising that two decades after charter schools began to appear, few of their benefits have been shared with public schools. “It’s like putting a Burger King kitty-corner to a McDonald’s and expecting —- in the same location and competing for the same families -— warm and fuzzy cooperation,” he says. Full Story

8. Millenial Job Seekers
Al Jazeera America

Economics professor Enrico Moretti is interviewed about higher-than-average unemployment in the Sacramento area, which is hitting the Millennial Generation particularly hard. He suggests that young people in the area expand their job search to nearby cities, like San Francisco, where the job market is stronger. Link to video. Full Story

9. For IBM, the answer is ‘Watson’
Washington Post

Students at seven of the country's top computer science universities, including Berkeley, will be able to use IBM's famous cognitive computing system, Watson, in new classes next fall. The partnership between IBM and the universities will let students use the system to develop new cognitive computing applications in various fields. Full Story

10. Record-high temperatures expected around the Bay Area this week
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

As another heat wave begins in the Bay Area, chemistry and earth science professor Kristie Boering answers the question, "Is the second major heat wave of the spring just an extension of the state's record dry winter and drought and part of a larger weather cycle or another example of climate change?" It could be both, she says. "Any one brief heat wave event, such as that predicted for the coming week, is really weather, not climate. ... It's the longer-term patterns that are more telling as to whether we should expect more of such heat waves in the Bay Area, or not, due to climate change." Full Story

11. New book attacks historical image of California's missions
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

A reviewer says that the new book by Bay Area author Eilias Castillo, A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California's Indians by the Spanish Missions, "shatters the image of California's historic missions as idyllic sites where Franciscan friars and Indians lived in harmony." In reality, the author says, they were more like "death camps," and he uncovered much of his evidence at archives around the state, including Berkeley's Bancroft Library. Full Story

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