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.

Monday, 23 September 2013

1. Pesticides' effect on generations of field-workers
San Francisco Chronicle

For more than a decade, Berkeley researchers led by public health and epidemiology professor Brenda Eskenazi have been studying families living in the Salinas Valley to find out how pesticides and other chemicals affect their health. Many findings have come from this research, including links between prenatal exposure to pesticides and higher risk of attention problems. In addition to studying risks, the team is helping to raise awareness of how community members can protect themselves from contaminants. "In my heart, this is more than just a study for me," she says. "This is a population I deeply care about." Full Story

2. Op-Ed: Daniel Fletcher: Why Your iPhone Upgrade Is Good for the Poor
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

Bioengineering and biophysics professor Daniel Fletcher, of Berkeley's Blum Center for Developing Economies, writes to thank people for retiring their used, but perfectly good, smartphones in favor of the latest and greatest technologies, since the older devices are helping to save lives around the world. His lab is adapting used smartphones to serve as diagnostic screeners in remote areas, bringing up-to-date medicine to the field. He concludes: "Much of the tinkering that is turning smartphones into possibly life-saving devices is taking place on university campuses, where technologically adept students are responding to challenges to find innovative ways to address global problems. ... So thank you for upgrading. And save me a spot in line." Full Story

3. Answer Sheet Blog: Two schools and the vast imbalance of privilege
Washington Post Online

A commentary by the Rev. John Thomas, a professor and administrator at the Chicago Theological Seminary, compares the "imbalance of privilege" between two schools within a quarter mile of each other in Chicago. In the course of his discussion, he cites a study by Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez about income inequality in the U.S. and Europe. Another story citing Professor Saez's research appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Full Story

4. Opinionator Blog: American Bile
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

Public policy professor Robert Reich begins this commentary with an anecdote about a stranger calling him something worse than a Commie dirtbag and connects that experience to a discussion of income inequality and how "losers of rigged games can become very angry, as history has revealed repeatedly." Full Story

5. The Numbers Guy: New Way of Calculating Poverty Rate Faces Hurdles
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

Public policy professor Hilary Hoynes comments on a possible overhaul of the national poverty measure: "There will be winners and losers and thus the politics of this are not inconsequential." Full Story

6. Restaurants fight 30-hour rule in health care law
San Francisco Chronicle

A story about the 30-hour rule of the Affordable Care Act requiring companies with more than 50 employees working at least 30 hours a week to offer health benefits cites a study by Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education. The study estimated that roughly 16 percent of restaurant workers are at risk of reduced hours as a result of the new rules. Full Story

7. Things won't be easy for next Fed leader
San Francisco Chronicle

Columnist Andrew Ross writes about the challenges Berkeley economics professor emeritus Janet Yellen will face if named the next chair of the Federal Reserve. Ross also mentions associate public policy professor Jesse Rothstein, whose research Professor Yellen has cited. Full Story

8. Science Friday: Can Mass Transit Solve City Sprawl?

Ian Carlton, a doctoral city and regional planning student, joins a discussion of mass transit planning in Los Angeles and other urban areas. Link to audio. Full Story

9. Grant applications for UC Berkeley fund
Oakland Tribune

UC Berkeley is now accepting applications for grants from the Chancellor's Community Fund for local humanitarian projects. Proposed projects could pertain to a range of endeavors, including the arts, culture, community safety, economic development, environmental stewardship, and education. Applications are due by Dec. 9, and roughly 20 to 25 projects receive grants each year. Full Story

10. In Contra Costa Blog: Richmond Bay Campus faces delay
San Francisco Chronicle Online

The planned Richmond Bay Campus, a research partnership planned by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and UC Berkeley, has run into a financial snag, but this article reports that "all parties involved in the project remain optimistic about its future." Full Story

11. BlackBerry Makes Risky Bet on Services
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

Larry Conrad, Berkeley's chief information officer, comments on the future of the BlackBerry. Berkeley lets employees use their own devices, and Conrad says he doesn't see workers returning to BlackBerrys. Furthermore, he says he hasn't seen any of the campus's several hundred administrators using them. Full Story

12. Smartphone robberies send Berkeley crime stats up
San Francisco Chronicle

Matching a nationwide trend, smartphone robberies in Berkeley are driving up the city's crime rate. To raise awareness, campus police regularly talk to student groups about crime prevention, but they say that constant student turnover challenges their efforts. Full Story

13. UC Berkeley grad among wounded in Kenya mall attack
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

Alum Elaine Dang was among the more than 175 people wounded in the terrorist attack in a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday. The 2009 graduate works for an online restaurant and bar guide in Nairobi. She has been tweeting that she is "recovering well," but is "concerned about the others who were not lucky to get out." Another story on this topic appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Full Story

14. Cal Stadium's 'Floating' Press Box Wins National Award
Berkeley Patch

The two-story, 375-foot long press box that appears to float over the western side of the rebuilt Memorial Stadium has been named a national winner of a 2013 award for innovative engineering and architecture, issued by the American Institute of Steel Construction. The award was presented in a ceremony at the stadium on Friday afternoon. Full Story

15. Cal football coaches' tab hits $16.3 million
San Francisco Chronicle

The football coaching switch at Cal will ultimately cost the athletic program $16.3 million, this article reports, including contract payouts for former coach Jeff Tedford and incentives for new coach Sonny Dykes. Athletic department spokesman Herb Benenson says that boosters and other donors are paying for most of the costs, with the rest coming from the department's "self-generated" revenue from ticket sales, merchandising, TV, and such. "No state money, tuition, student services fees or institutional" money is involved, he says. Another story on this topic appeared in the San Francisco Business Times. Full Story

16. Berkeley Documentary Captures a Campus on Cusp of Change
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

Renowned documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman spent 12 weeks in the fall of 2010 filming At Berkeley, now playing at film festivals prior to its official release in November. According to this reviewer: "There is no context, other than the institution itself, for what each new scene brings. ... As At Berkeley hopscotches across the semester, dropping in on sundry scenes of intellectual activity, earnest research, and campus life, Mr. Wiseman returns again and again to [former chancellor Robert] Birgeneau and his staff discussing the challenge of preserving Berkeley's elite character and public mission while slashing expenses. ... Even at more than four hours, At Berkeley's attempt to give a full picture of an enormous, complex institution like the University of California at Berkeley can't help but fall short. ... But it works well as a sampler of that complexity, as well as of the complex challenges such institutions now face. " Full Story

17. Clipper advertising card exhibit at Bancroft Library
San Francisco Chronicle

A new exhibit of clipper ship sailing cards at Berkeley's Bancroft Library highlights the connection between two great American eras -- of sailing ships and advertising. The exhibit and a small book by David Pettus, a San Francisco book collector both called "By Sail for San Francisco" tell the story of the postcard-size advertising "sailing cards" that lured passengers and cargo to the ships in the 1850s and '60s. The exhibit runs through February. Full Story

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