News in Brief: Deer Head Found in Safeway



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A severed deer head capped a series of vandalism incidents that rocked a Berkeley supermarket this week, store officials said.

Safeway manager Fran Cairo said a customer discovered the head on the floor of the meat department shortly before closing time on June 19.

Employees cleaned up the mess and called police the next day, she said.

Cairo added she has no idea how the head got in the store, but she speculated that it was a practical joke.

"We're leaving it to police," she said. "There's not much we can do about it at this point. It's obviously a prank of some kind. We're just going to watch out for them."

She added that the store's security cameras were not turned on during the incident.

Berkeley police Det. Russell Lopes said police are investigating the incident. He added, however, that employees discarded the head before calling police and that they have little evidence to head off further incidents.

"How can anyone get a deer head in there without being noticed?" he said. "I have no idea."

He said vandals also disabled an elevator of the store, located on the 1400 block of Shattuck Avenue.

On Wednesday, vandals cut the wiring of the elevator that connects the interior of the store to the underground parking lot, Lopes said.

He said police think the same vandals may be behind both incidents.

"I would think that, if they get a deer head in their meat case and they get their elevator wires cut in the same week, I'd venture to say they're related," he said.

Sasha Talcott

Court Date Set for Protester

The UC Berkeley student who camped in Underhill Parking Lot for three weeks to protest its proposed expansion will soon get his day in court.

Boalt Hall School of Law student Rick Young, who was arrested three times for trespassing on the lot, refused a plea bargain this week and received a trial date of Aug. 4.

At a hearing Wednesday, Young rejected the assistant district attorney's offer to let him plead guilty, then reverse the plea if Young stayed out of trouble for one year.

Young said such a plea would undoubtedly come with the stipulation that he not enter the Underhill lot, which he was unwilling to do.

The judge has ordered Young to stay off the lot until after the trial. Young has said that if he wins, he wants to be free to protest at Underhill when school starts.

"I'm a little surprised at how seriously the district attorney's office is taking this case," he said. "It's such an aggressive stance."

Young had camped out on the lot to support student housing instead of additional parking spaces and to publicly press the chancellor for a meeting.

Sasha Talcott

Incoming Freshmen Receive Reading List

Books on vampires, the Milky Way, poetry and black women novelists are on a summer reading list handed out to incoming freshmen at orientation sessions earlier this month.

The list of 24 books has helped introduce new students to the UC Berkeley curriculum for 16 years, said academic coordinator Steve Tollefson, who co-produced the list.

He said the list, which is available on the university's Web site, is made through recommendations from college writing instructors and librarians.

"In a way, we hope that if they look at this list and read one of these books, that they'll remember that they're coming into this intellectual community that values reading and values ideas," he said.

Although previous lists have included books such as "Winnie the Pooh," Tollefson said he feels the strangest recommendation was a book that the recommender himself wrote.

"Years and years ago, someone recommended his own book," he said. "We would never put (in) a book that the (recommender) wrote."

Tollefson said he read several of the books on the list, which are all by Berkeley faculty members. He said his favorite was "The Ninth Wave," a work of fiction by Eugene Burdick.

"It's just a wonderful book, but it's been out of print for years," he said.

Eric Tom and Sam Adams

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