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Issue #2617 :: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Issue #2617 Cover

Top Headlines

CalSERVE Opts Not to Run Executive Candidates in Election
UC Berkeley's oldest existing student political party announced this morning that it has decided not to run any executive candidates for the spring 2011 ASUC elections.

Bears Take Opening-Game Exit in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES -- Playing USC this season has been a game of whack-a-mole for the Bears.

College of Engineering Ranks in U.S. News Top 10
UC Berkeley's College of Engineering will be included in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top 10 graduate engineering schools offering a Ph.D. for at least the eighth year running, according to a preview of the 2012 rankings.

Proposal Favors Single Student Document Fee Podcast
Following weeks of discussion, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees voted Tuesday to recommend a fee to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau that would allow the campus to charge new undergraduate and graduate students a one-time payment for retrieving campus documents.

News

Berkeley Sees Slightly Higher Unemployment Rate in January
Following a downward trend in recent months, the unemployment rate in Berkeley rose slightly this January to 10.5 percent, though rates from then and previous months remain substantially lower than the July 2010 peak of 11.3 percent unemployment.

Community Members Gather to Promote Pedestrian Safety Month
Parents, students and other members of the South Berkeley community carried signs at the busy intersection of Ashby Avenue and Ellis Street, urging commuters to slow down early Wednesday morning in a rally promoting Pedestrian Safety Month.

Proposal Favors Single Student Document Fee Podcast
Following weeks of discussion, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees voted Tuesday to recommend a fee to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau that would allow the campus to charge new undergraduate and graduate students a one-time payment for retrieving campus documents.

City Debates Ecology Center Contract
Working toward closing the remaining $1.2 million deficit in the city's refuse fund for the 2011 fiscal year, the Berkeley City Council discussed a proposal to terminate a nearly 40-year contract with the Ecology Center at a work session Tuesday - a suggestion that sparked debate among a crowded room of union workers, environmental groups and residents.

Local Takes a Step to Beautify City
Looking out over the city of Berkeley and across the San Francisco Bay, Bruce McMurray stands on the recently swept Le Roy Steps, lined with blooming yellow daffodils and wild lilac trees - a sight that did not exist four years ago, before McMurray and his neighbors undertook a project to beautify the steps.

Student Action Announces ASUC Executive Slate
Following a year that saw the ASUC executive offices split down party lines, the Student Action party has announced its executive candidates for the 2011 elections.

City Police Confirm Identity of Homicide Victim
The Berkeley Police Department confirmed Wednesday the identity of the victim of the city's first homicide of the year to be 30-year-old Tobias Pemadorji Eagle, who was found shot dead in his South Berkeley home Tuesday afternoon.

UC Berkeley Senior Had 'Passion to Live'
UC Berkeley senior Danesha McCoy died March 1 after a lengthy battle with the cancer that she had beaten once before in childhood. She was 22.

McCone Hall Evacuated Due to Flooding Caused by Burst Pipe
The basement of McCone Hall was partially flooded Monday evening after an old pipe suddenly burst outside, prompting a building evacuation and the shutting down of water and electricity to surrounding buildings.

Female Juvenile Sexually Battered Tuesday Night
Update: UCPD confirms that the victim is a 17-year-old UC Berkeley student.

CalSERVE Opts Not to Run Executive Candidates in Election
UC Berkeley's oldest existing student political party announced this morning that it has decided not to run any executive candidates for the spring 2011 ASUC elections.

College of Engineering Ranks in U.S. News Top 10
UC Berkeley's College of Engineering will be included in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top 10 graduate engineering schools offering a Ph.D. for at least the eighth year running, according to a preview of the 2012 rankings.


Sports

Bears Avenge Losses to Huskies, Advance to Pac-10 Quarters
When the Cal women's basketball team faced Washington for the first time, the Bears were the favorite to win, but the Huskies managed an upset.

Stand Up
Talia Caldwell begins to laugh as she recounts the story. It's a jovial laugh, the kind that makes you want to chuckle along with her.

Bears Look to Make Run Through Pac-10s
Mike Montgomery was asked to define his team after the Cal men's basketball team routed cross-bay rival Stanford on Saturday.

Former Bears Work Out for NFL Scouts at Cal's Pro Day Gallery Video
Memorial Stadium looks like a mess of dirt, brick and metal right now, and will for another year or so. Not exactly optimal for the former Cal football players who showed off their wares before NFL scouts.

Press Room Banter
If you're like me, you love Pac-10 football - but you also love Will Ferrell movies. If you're even more like me, you've spent countless hours trying to come up with ways to combine the two. I recently realized how similar the two are. Both have crazy characters (Vontaze Burfict), nonsensical plot lines (remember the Pac-16?) and ridiculous endings (I'm looking at you, Kevin Riley).

LIVE BLOG: CAL MEN'S BASKETBALL VS. USC


Bears Take Opening-Game Exit in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES -- Playing USC this season has been a game of whack-a-mole for the Bears.


Arts & Entertainment

Freak Show
We all remember the bedtime stories and fairy tales of our childhood, all these "once upon a times" and "they lived happily ever afters." And then there are the other stories that start with tempestuous nights and end with the unspeakable, awaking us from our deepest fantasies in sweats. Until March 13 at Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley's Theater, Dance and Performance Studies Department takes us into a place where dreams and nightmarish tales interweave. In "I Dream of Chang and Eng," Philip Kan Gotanda imagines a world where the extraordinary and the ordinary mingle to celebrate the strange lives of two emblematic figures.

Devil May Cry
A woman is in trouble. Somewhere in a wintry backwoods, her car has broken down. A man emerges from the snow, seemingly out of nowhere, to check her tires. But he should not be doing that. Something is off. All director Kim Jee-woon needs to do is lay out the requisite accoutrements of cinematic torture - a cleaver, a chain, a body bag - for us to know how this scenario will end. And so begins "I Saw the Devil," a two-and-a-half hour knife-plunge into terrifying terrain.

'Happythankyoumoreplease' Paints Empty Portrait of Youth
Anyone familiar with Ted Mosby on "How I Met Your Mother" could predict much of what defined "Happythankyoumoreplease," written and directed by – not to mention starring – Josh Radnor, who plays Mosby on the show. The movie drifts through New York City, featuring scruffy facial hair, copious plaid, indie ditties and misunderstood romance. It has its pleasant moments, but "Happy" is searching for more than love and happiness. It's searching for substance.

Avril Lavigne: GOODBYE LULLABY Podcast
Two-and-a-half years in the making, Avril Lavigne's Goodbye Lullaby was posited as a departure from the artist's more familiar pop-punk sound, aiming for an emotional, pared-down album about - you guessed it - life. But while Lavigne's music has delved into the deeply personal, it lacks the personality or insight to keep it afloat. Goodbye Lullaby operates under a faulty hypothesis that deviating from tried-and-true material translates into perceived maturity. It's really in tracks that channel Lavigne's original skate-punk sound that the album provides a welcome relief from the otherwise uninspired material.

Raekwon: SHAOLIN VS. WU-TANG Podcast
Raekwon's new album is, you know, whatever. It's fine. It's far from cringe-worthy, better than listenable, and, hell, even teeters on being pretty good. It's just that it makes me like Raekwon way less than I thought I did. After Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II I was ready to reorganize my list of favorite Wu-Tang Clansmen, but Rae's new release cements the fact that he's running in place.

Lupe Fiasco: LASERS Podcast
After three years of dedicated production, one would expect Lupe Fiasco's third album to be a solid addition to his acclaimed discography. Instead, he has given us Lasers, a half-hearted venture into commercial rap. Lupe has repeatedly complained about corporate intervention with his vision for the album, and now the finished product speaks for itself. The once-inspiring lyricist now raps about feeling used and contemplating suicide, while most of the tracks feature paradoxically uplifting choruses and club beats. It's as if he tried to sneak a "stick it to the man" message in the midst of a record that embodies all of pop music's latest trends.

Wye Oak: CIVILIAN Podcast
Wye Oak's latest release, Civilian, is an easy target for haters, whether due to its lack of hooks, Jenn Wasner's mumblings or its strange guitar distortions. But its consistency soothes - reinforced by dreamy vocals - and the Baltimore duo's experimentation constructs a delightfully unpredictable work.

Book Review: The Good Daughter
On March 2, over 200 Iranian protesters were arrested in the wake of the events in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Almost a century earlier, in 1921, a young woman was born to an Iranian carpet salesman and his wife. The connection between the two events might seem tenuous, but it reflects two aspects of a country that is at once defined by its rich past and its chaotic present. It is a troubling dichotomy of the personal and the political that Jasmin Darznik explores in her new book, "The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life" - a story that spans the tumult and the violence of 20th century Iran through the eyes of three captivating women.

Reeling with Ryan Lattanzio
I've been waiting for this moment, when I can write the column of my dreams, and I owe it all to Facebook. Amid the stinking wasteland of notifications that keeps on growing, I happened upon an event: "Mind and Body Awareness Week at Cal." The kicker reads: "Learn more about mental health and the connection between how you think, feel, behave and learn." Well, why would you want to be all kumbaya with your fellow head cases if you can watch mental deterioration onscreen from a distance? It's just more fun.

White Space