News in Brief: Berkeley Faculty Members Petition Regents on Behalf of UC Clerical Workers

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With a potential contract in the works, the university's clerical workers continued this week to demand higher wages.

In a petition sent to UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl and UC President Richard Atkinson, 510 UC Berkeley faculty members said they support higher wages for clerical workers.

"This is a crisis situation," the petition said. "It is unjust."

The petition was organized by eight faculty members from different departments and delivered on Nov. 20 to Berdahl and Atkinson, as well as to members of the UC Board of Regents.

The Coalition of University Employees, which represents clerical workers at the nine UC campuses, has been locked in contract negotiations with the university for more than two years.

On Nov. 8, university and union officials announced a tentative deal that would give workers a 7.8 percent wage increase. In the latest petition, however, signers cited the fact that UC's clerical workers are paid an average of 21 percent below market rate.

Second Shooting Occurs Near Berkeley Residence

Residents of Sacramento Street endured another shooting Monday, which police said is connected to previous shootings.

A 30-year-old woman was standing outside her residence with a 43-year-old woman and a teenage boy who were visiting her when a man fired about six shots at them, aiming to kill, said Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes. The man missed the three people and no one was hurt, but one ricocheted bullet lodged in the boy's tennis shoe.

On Nov. 14, the brother of the the Berkeley woman was visiting from Louisiana when he was shot in the leg in her backyard. Police arrested a man over the weekend in another nearby shooting and said he may have been avenging the Nov. 14 incident. Lopes said police think this recent shooting is also related, but they are not sure how.


Man Stabbed With Steak Knife on Holiday Weekend

A Berkeley Thanksgiving get-together left a man in Highland Hospital recovering from a steak knife wound to the back, police said yesterday.

The Fresno man and his common-law wife were visiting the woman's aunt for the holiday weekend when, on Saturday, just before midnight, the two began to argue, said Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes.

The woman then stabbed the man in the back with a steak knife, leaving him with a "relatively serious," but not life-threatening wound, Lopes said. Police arrested the women for assault with a deadly weapon.

Lopes said the incident is "not uncommon" during holidays like Thanksgiving.

"People who normally do not get together will force themselves to get together during the holidays," Lopes said. "Fights break out, people get stabbed, people get shot."


California Artist Carves Bear Statue On Campus

Adding to the campus' already impressive collection, a new bear emerged from underneath a chain saw yesterday.

Daily Cal Staff/Sean Boyd

Artist Ron Smith carves a bear out of a gigantic log near Davis Hall.

Ron Smith, a noted California artist, took a chain saw to an enormous log on a Davis Hall patio and created a human-sized statue of a bear.

The demonstration was part of a freshman seminar on woodcarving. Jerome Thomas, a civil engineering professor emeritus, teaches the class.

"Developing an appreciation of sculpting is what this course is about," Thomas said in a statement. "It is a unique experience for freshmen, something they usually wouldn't be exposed to in the regular curriculum on campus."

The UC Berkeley campus is home to more than 10 permanent sculptures of bears, including two "grieving" bears near the Campanile that are a memorial to students who died in World War II.

Youths Rob Man of Soda at Gunpoint

A man walking along College Avenue was robbed at gunpoint of a liter of Coca-Cola, police said yesterday.

Three juveniles, 15 and 16 years of age, approached the Oakland man on the 3100 block of College at approximately 10:00 p.m. Monday, produced a handgun and robbed him of the soda, said Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes.

The boys ran from the scene but were found and arrested in Oakland and sent to Juvenile Hall, Lopes said.

Lopes said robberies usually increase during the holiday season because more people are walking around with money to go shopping, and "if you don't have money, you want it."

That same night, in an unrelated incident, a man was robbed of his wallet at gunpoint in front of his Ninth Street house, Lopes said. Police have no suspects in the case.



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