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BDP Staff
Friday August 17, 2001

Grant will help rebuild Tilden Park carousel 


The East Bay Regional Park District will be receiving a $197,000 grant to restore the deteriorating machinery of the Tilden Park carousel.  

The grant was approved by the California Coastal Conservancy and made available through Proposition 12 - the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000 - passed by California voters last year.  

The 1911 carousel receives over 150,000 visitors each year, making it one of the park district’s most popular attractions. Restoration of key mechanical parts is necessary if the carousel is to continue operating.  


UC Berkeley students  

mentor Vista students 


When Kathleen Jones-West transferred from Vista Community College to UC Berkeley in 1998 to complete her college degree, she dreamed of helping others make the same jump. 

This fall, her dream will materialize when four Vista graduates arrive at UC Berkeley as transfer students - the first products of a unique mentoring program started by Jones-West. And, the program is scheduled to expand to four other community colleges. 

For the past two years, the Vista students have been befriended and encouraged by UC Berkeley student mentors who have worked to make the campus a familiar and possible goal. Many Vista students do not plan to continue on for a four-year degree, or they may feel that the campus - only three blocks away - is unreachable. “Coming to UC Berkeley has been a goal since I was 12 years old,” said Adam Ebrahim of Fresno, who will enter as a transfer student this fall. For years, despite having the drive to reach his goal, Ebrahim nevertheless said that UC Berkeley was “largely unapproachable.” 

“I'd been working so hard for so long, I didn't have a realistic idea of how to proceed,” said Ebrahim.  

Teaming up with a UC Berkeley mentor was “absolutely great,” he said. “He walked around with me. I met people. I became very comfortable.” 

Ebrahim said his mentor also helped him focus his work so that he could avoid wasting academic time. 

Comments like these are music to the ears of Jones-West, who, though she has passed control of the program to others, still gets calls from students who tell her she has changed their lives. Jones-West is currently a second year graduate student in UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare. 

Her “Starting Point” program, meanwhile, has been adopted by UC Berkeley as a regular part of its curriculum and is set to expand from Vista College to San Francisco City College this year, followed later by Contra Costa and Chabot community colleges.  

So far, about 100 UC Berkeley students have been trained as mentors.  


Volunteers sought to help with annual Solano Stroll 


Volunteers are wanted to help with the Solano Avenue Stroll, Sept. 9. People will be asked to put up posters and act as parade monitors. Those interested can call 527-5358 or go to 


Online system helps track academic progress 


UC Berkeley is launching a new online system that lets undergraduate students monitor their academic progress on the Web by providing current information about courses needed to meet major, UC, and campus requirements. With the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS), students can track their completed requirements, see which have not been completed, and consider possible courses to take in the future. 

“The Degree Audit Reporting System is the next step in the campus-wide effort to provide students with online tools to use during their academic careers at Cal. Tele-BEARS and Info-BEARS provide students with registration information, Bear Facts lets them view transcripts and change personal information, and now DARS enables them to monitor their progress through their academic career at UC Berkeley,” says Registrar Susanna Castillo-Robson. 

DARS is available to UC Berkeley undergraduates beginning in the fall. 

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) automatically creates reports that reflect a student’s progress toward completing a degree in his or her declared major, taking into account not only completed UCB course work, but transfer courses and courses in progress. Students order DARS reports  

by accessing the system  

through Bear Facts ( and clicking the DARS link on the home page. 

After providing the requested information, students receive a report via e-mail within 24 hours.