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Thursday, Apr 15, 2010
(SI:Best of Berkeley)
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Issue #2450 :: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Issue #2450 Cover

Top Headlines

ASUC Senate Still Undecided on Vetoed Divestment Bill
Following a nearly nine-hour discussion that began at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday evening and lasted into Thursday morning, ASUC senators have yet to reach a decision on whether or not they would uphold or override President Will Smelko's March 24 veto of a controversial bill urging the student government and the UC to divest from two companies that have supplied Israel with materials for alleged war crimes.

Nonresident Admissions Increase Sharply Podcast
A sharp increase in nonresident admissions will bolster campus efforts to raise revenue, but some students question whether such a move will jeopardize the campus's public character.

Diverse ASUC Election Results Build Hopes for Bipartisanship Gallery
ASUC election results announced Tuesday revealed a shift in party dynamics, with more partisan control of the ASUC Senate but a more diverse party representation within the executive offices.

Deeper and Deeper: Pensions Program May Cause Deficit to Balloon Podcast
The city of Berkeley may be trapped in what multiple officials have called an "unsustainable" pensions program that will cost the city millions of dollars to escape beginning June 2011.

News

Two Males Allegedly Rob Student, 19, on Southside
A female UC Berkeley student was allegedly robbed of her cellular phone Tuesday afternoon while walking through Southside.

Nonresident Admissions Increase Sharply Podcast
A sharp increase in nonresident admissions will bolster campus efforts to raise revenue, but some students question whether such a move will jeopardize the campus's public character.

Divestment Vote Attracts Hundreds of Spectators
The ASUC Senate was expected to vote on overriding President Will Smelko's March 24 veto of a controversial bill urging the student government and University of California to divest from United Technologies and General Electric.

Letter From Law Firm Demands Dismissal of Students' Charges
Facing increasing pressure to drop student conduct charges against student activists, UC Berkeley officials must respond by the end of next week to a letter from Oakland-based law firm Siegel & Yee or face possible legal action.

Researchers Fabricate 'Molecular Paper'
Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a self-assembling "molecular paper" that may be used for various biological applications in the future.

Diverse ASUC Election Results Build Hopes for Bipartisanship Gallery
ASUC election results announced Tuesday revealed a shift in party dynamics, with more partisan control of the ASUC Senate but a more diverse party representation within the executive offices.

Report: Berkeley Lab Contributed to Job Growth
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has significantly contributed to both local and national job creation and economic growth in the last fiscal year, according to a study commissioned by the lab.

Deeper and Deeper: Pensions Program May Cause Deficit to Balloon Podcast
The city of Berkeley may be trapped in what multiple officials have called an "unsustainable" pensions program that will cost the city millions of dollars to escape beginning June 2011.

Controversy Surrounds President-Elect's Victory
President-elect and Student Action Senator Noah Stern's victory in this year's ASUC elections remains mired in controversy as the ASUC attorney general and elections council chair conduct a "full investigation" into allegations he committed voter fraud on the last night of voting.

Recent Rain Signals End Of Drought in Bay Area
A bevy of storms that have drenched the Berkeley area late this rainy season support what many Bay Area water districts are reporting-that the three-year drought is over at last.

ASUC Senate Still Undecided on Vetoed Divestment Bill
Following a nearly nine-hour discussion that began at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday evening and lasted into Thursday morning, ASUC senators have yet to reach a decision on whether or not they would uphold or override President Will Smelko's March 24 veto of a controversial bill urging the student government and the UC to divest from two companies that have supplied Israel with materials for alleged war crimes.

German Chancellor Visiting Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Today
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory today to meet scientists and tour research facilities, according to the lab's Web site.

Southside Pedestrian Victim of Afternoon Attempted Armed Robbery
A man allegedly brandished a gun at a pedestrian walking on the streets of Southside Thursday afternoon in what police are calling an attempted armed robbery.


Sports

On the Right Track Gallery
Ray Wyrick knows a thing or two about moving.

Top Talent Awaits Bears At NCAA Championships
It is the biggest weekend of the year for the Cal men's gymnastics team. It is the last meet-the NCAA championships-and the chance to gauge how far the team has come this season.

Share of Conference Title Could Be in Cards
Two games remain on the Cal women's tennis team's schedule, and despite the road match at rival Stanford looming on Saturday, coach Amanda Augustus is making sure her team doesn't look past Fresno State.

Musings of a Moose Podcast
With Best of Berkeley coming out, I decided to go ahead and do my own version of it. To help me out with the daunting task of telling the people what's up, I invited my buddy Matt Miller from the Cal track and field team to tag along.


Arts & Entertainment

Public Record
At this point, it's safe to say we live in the age of the iPod. When people want a song, they download it, sometimes through approved channels (iTunes, eMusic, etc.) and sometimes less legitimately. But there's a part of popular music culture-some might call it vestigial, others would call it crucial-that has to do with the act of acquisition. In this context, the CD or record is a fetish object, a physical piece of art designed to be owned, displayed and, most importantly, played over and over. This is the godhead of the cult of the record store, and it's not dead yet, especially in the East Bay.

Author Ian McEwan Speaks at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco
Like the voices of Werner Herzog and James Lipton, Ian McEwan's is smoothly erudite. It's a subtle, droll tone that could easily narrate a nature documentary. Tall, lanky and utterly British, Mr. McEwan charmed a massive audience this past Tuesday at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

The Kuchar Brothers' Films Complicate Camp Aesthetics
In the early 1960s, while Italy was still steeping in neo-realism and the French were working under the auspice of the New Wave, American filmmakers had their own scene: the Underground.

Berkeley Alum Jhameel Pursues Music
He was almost a US Army recruit, he can speak five different languages and he could easily pass for Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird and Chris Walla's musical love child. Could local musician Jhameel have a stranger, more impressive resume? Well, he graduated from Cal in two years. He also recently released his debut album, and he did all of this by the age of 19. Now he seems to be channeling this intense drive solely into his music. "I don't really feel like it's a choice. I just have to do it," he said about his decision to pursue music.

Blue Scholars Intellectually Stimulate Audience
To listen to Blue Scholars is to be reminded of the ability of hip-hop to edify and stimulate. With two full-length albums and a collection of EPs to their name, the Seattle-based one-two punch of Geologic and Sabzi have a habit of carving singular niches. Blue Scholars' frontrunner status in the current generation's alternative hip-hop scene was on full display Tuesday night at Slim's in San Francisco, where they headlined a vivid showcase of West Coast independent hip hop.

'The Joneses' Fails to Impress Despite Riches
Suburbia is the new battleground for subliminal marketing in "The Joneses." The film may be a not-so-subtle critique of the way things in America seem ready-made for consumption, but what's more noteworthy are the insidious effects it has on its viewers. It would be an understatement to say that product placement abounds. Many viewers will probably have a strong, unexplainable desire to hold a nice, cold bottle of Stella Artois in their hands, or to buy an Audi R8 and park it in a McMansion garage. Fortunately, the Joneses' son, Mick (Ben Hollingsworth), breaks the film's spell when he says that he wants to make a video on his new cell phone and send it to his grandma. Wait-To his grandma?

Strange Neighbors
Ordering take-out from Brazil Cafe is kind of like watching "Avatar" on your laptop. If it's the best you can do, that's fine, but the whole point is getting the larger-than-life, in-person experience. Pedro Robin, owner of the stand on University Ave., is the IMAX 3D of tri-tip sandwich cooks. The atmosphere he's created is almost more important than his food; it's the difference between a good lunch and a 20-minute visit to Ipanema.

White Space