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Issue #2103 :: Thursday, July 24, 2008

Issue #2103 Cover

Top Headlines

Injunction Preventing Construction at Oak Grove Extended
Construction of an athletic center near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium will experience another delay, now that two parties involved in lawsuits challenging the project have formally filed appeals.

Council Takes No Action To Appeal Athletic Center Suit
After listening to nearly one hundred residents voice their opinions on whether to appeal a superior court judge's ruling in the lawsuit over a proposed athletic center at UC Berkeley, Berkeley City Council members reached an impasse in their deliberations Thursday, unable to muster up the votes necessary to make an official decision.

Judge Gives Go-Ahead To Build Athletic Center
After 19 months and more than 40,000 pages of documentation, a judge ruled to lift the injunction preventing the construction of an athletic center near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium.

I Feel It All
Though she may be one of the most successful and famous females in the music industry right now, Leslie Feist is probably suited for small audiences in clubs rather than large audiences in amphitheaters. It was evident a number of times throughout her concert at the Greek Theatre on Saturday, but in no moment was it more apparent than in her performance of "1234," during which she acknowledged a fan who was holding up an iPod nano to represent the commercial that fueled the single to success. "Oh-my-god-it's-going-to-haunt-me-until-the-end-of-time," she sang, replacing the original lyrics with these improvised lines. It wasn't a moment of great levity-she later even took back the comment, saying it was "mean-spirited"-but it probably wasn't a complete joke either. It seemed to be a product of an ambivalence to fame that isn't entirely unsurprising, especially since Feist's performance style resembles that of a folk singer rather than an arena rocker. It seemed like she would rather be playing to a few devoted fans rather than a swarm of faces.

News

Judge Gives Go-Ahead To Build Athletic Center
After 19 months and more than 40,000 pages of documentation, a judge ruled to lift the injunction preventing the construction of an athletic center near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium.

Academics Still Unsure About Impact of Biofuel
Less than a year ago, UC Berkeley signed a $500 million partnership with oil industry giant BP to fund biofuel research, but the debate about the future of biofuels still remains.

Plan to Dismantle Bevatron Stirs Debate
Berkeley residents and representatives of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory clashed Tuesday night at the Berkeley City Council meeting over the prospect of dismantling a particle accelerator at the lab.

One Berkeley Starbucks to Close in Midst of Nationwide Shutdowns
As one of the trendiest brand names in America, it's no surprise that Starbucks is keeping with a current national trend. The company experienced a disappointing decrease in net earnings last quarter, leading Chief Executive Howard Schultz to announce the closure of 600 store locations, including one in Berkeley.

Helping Wi-Fi Reach World's Poor
Though access to Wi-Fi is coveted by coffee shops and Internet cafes alike, to a research group on campus, Wi-Fi may be the gateway to the modern world for developing nations.

News in Brief
Court: AFSCME Must Show Cause for Order Violation

Injunction Preventing Construction at Oak Grove Extended
Construction of an athletic center near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium will experience another delay, now that two parties involved in lawsuits challenging the project have formally filed appeals.

Council Takes No Action To Appeal Athletic Center Suit
After listening to nearly one hundred residents voice their opinions on whether to appeal a superior court judge's ruling in the lawsuit over a proposed athletic center at UC Berkeley, Berkeley City Council members reached an impasse in their deliberations Thursday, unable to muster up the votes necessary to make an official decision.


Arts & Entertainment

I Feel It All
Though she may be one of the most successful and famous females in the music industry right now, Leslie Feist is probably suited for small audiences in clubs rather than large audiences in amphitheaters. It was evident a number of times throughout her concert at the Greek Theatre on Saturday, but in no moment was it more apparent than in her performance of "1234," during which she acknowledged a fan who was holding up an iPod nano to represent the commercial that fueled the single to success. "Oh-my-god-it's-going-to-haunt-me-until-the-end-of-time," she sang, replacing the original lyrics with these improvised lines. It wasn't a moment of great levity-she later even took back the comment, saying it was "mean-spirited"-but it probably wasn't a complete joke either. It seemed to be a product of an ambivalence to fame that isn't entirely unsurprising, especially since Feist's performance style resembles that of a folk singer rather than an arena rocker. It seemed like she would rather be playing to a few devoted fans rather than a swarm of faces.

Film Festival Emphasizes a Multi-Faceted Jewish Identity
If you travel west on the 80 across the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco, just before the 9th Street exit you'll come across a curious billboard touting an Israeli innovation that turns trash into energy. In the same vein, posters publicizing Israel's press as the only free one in its region began popping up several months ago on BART. The advertisements signal a calculated public relations campaign to awaken positive Israeli sensibilities in the Bay Area, a region that, as a whole, is more progressive than the rest of the country and where criticism of the Israeli-American political paradigm pervades the mainstream.

Jefferson Starship Ignites Classic Rock Show Gallery
You could have cut the nostalgia with a knife at San Francisco's Regency Center Sunday night when the Zombies, then Jefferson Starship, took the stage. Aged hippies dominated the crowd, sharing the room with thirtysomethings and a smattering of college students. Even amid the venue's polished surfaces and teardrop chandeliers, a straggly trio of concertgoers rolling joints didn't seem out of place.

Thumb Wars: A weekly forum for pop culture quarrels.
It's been my personal experience that talking about Las Vegas is a lot like talking about Disneyland. People either hate the places' capitalist excesses or love the "American ingenuity" of building a fake city countless miles away from a water source.

Things of Import
I just bought the Flight of the Conchords album, appropriately titled Flight of the Conchords, yesterday at Urban Outfitters. I understand that I was a little slow on this one. I knew that it had been released awhile ago, but I was busy avoiding my thesis for most of April, and then I was busy writing it for most of May. Now it's the end of July, and I only bought it because Urban had placed it at impulse eye-level on the checkout counter.

'Step Brothers' Keeps Stunted Adolescence Alive
Adam McKay's latest John C. Reilly/Will Ferrell vehicle takes the comedic niche of perpetual adolescence, which Judd Apatow (producing here) has mined for the last four years, and blown it into an entire film. "Step Brothers" declares that there is nothing wrong with the men-children of "40 Year Old Virgin," "Knocked Up" and "Talladega Nights."

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Stirs Up Memorable Culture Clash at the Symphony
When attending the symphony, there are certain unspoken rules. These rules separate the dignified and practiced symphony-goers from those who attend only for the chance to overdress and say to coworkers the next day, "That reminds me of the Symphony last night-did I mention I was at the Symphony last night?" The rules are simple but critical: Don't fiddle with your program. Don't clap between movements. Don't even think about singing along. Last Saturday night at the Davies Symphony Hall, home of the San Francisco Symphony, each of these rules was shattered as people sang, clapped and a few even danced along with the music. The troublemakers? A group of nine gangsters by the name of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Laughs in the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley's "The Matchmaker" Stifled by Poor Delivery
Thomas Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker" promises hilarity wrought of schemes gone awry and mistaken identities. Unfortunately, much of the comedy is buried under rough performances in the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley's earnest staging, which opened last Friday at Live Oak Theatre.

Italian Thriller Has Hitchcock's Style, Lacks His Depth
Fans of Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore likely know him best for 1988's "Cinema Paradiso," a sprawling, nostalgic and much-beloved romance that captured the hearts of Italian and American audiences. If that's the case, they may be in for a shock: His latest film could not be a more drastic departure. Dark and deeply disturbing, "The Unknown Woman" is more "inferno" than "paradiso."

Album Reviews
Nearly two years after their self-titled debut album, Cansei de Ser Sexy (tired of being sexy) seems cansei de ser louco (tired of being crazy). This time around, CSS refrains from their characteristically pithy lyrics, opting for less shocking, more groovable tracks. When before CSS sounded like a Brazilian DFA, their sophomore album Donkey plays more like Madonna, as the band chooses to leash up their inner Le Tigre and chill out. CSS' new direction might disappoint many fans who were hooked on the rebelliously sassy bangers of CSS, but they should find that Donkey is as easy to groove to as CSS was to table-dance to.


Opinion

Gold, Silver and Politics
One World, One Dream" shines on the official Web site of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. In about two weeks, on August 8, the Summer Olympic Games will begin and so will a series of tests. Everything will be tested, from athletic talent to zealous patriotism, and particularly the truth of the idyllic statement "One World, One Dream." While the Olympics are considered to be an arena in which athletes from around the world compete in a myriad of sports, rarely are they ever just about the game. The truth is, the Olympics and politics go way back.

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