Bay Briefs

BDP Staff
Thursday September 27, 2001

UC Berkeley gets grant to control binge drinking 


U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced that three California universities, including University of California at Berkeley, will receive federal grants for programs aimed at curbing binge drinking and violent behavior on college campuses. 

“Higher education institutions have a unique opportunity to encourage responsible behavior and help young men and women avoid excessive drinking,” Paige said on Tuesday. “These grants complement efforts already underway to reduce high-risk drinking and related behavior among America’s college students.” 

The one-year grants to UC Berkeley, California State University, Chico and San Diego State University are among 14 colleges nationwide to be awarded the grants. The schools were selected from a pool of 110 proposals.  

The grants can be extended for an additional year with a successful progress report. 

Chico State, where a freshman from Palo Alto died last year after heavy drinking at a fraternity event, received the largest grant of $139,956, while San Diego State received $136,429 and UC Berkeley received $96,062. 


Caltrans stops  

Bay Bridge work to  

investigate fatal accident 


Caltrans has halted all construction work on the Bay Bridge while investigators determine what caused a steel and plywood panel to fall and kill a Hayward motorist driving on the lower deck Tuesday. 

The San Francisco Medical Examiner today identified the victim as 47-year-old Anthony Menolascino of Hayward. Menolascino was reportedly crushed to death at about 11:37 a.m. Tuesday as he was driving eastbound in his 1993 Toyota pickup. 

CHP officials said the panel, which weighed about 1,500 pounds, fell on top of Menolascino’s vehicle about a mile west of the Bay Bridge center anchorage. It landed on the hood of the truck and sheared off the vehicle’s roof. 

The impact caused Menolascino’s vehicle, which had been traveling in the number five lane, to rotate out of control across the number four lane and into the number three lane where it came to rest, authorities said. 

According to a CHP report, the 12-by-24 foot panel was part of a containment wall used by construction workers working Caltrans’ seismic retrofit project to prevent debris from blowing into the lanes. 

Caltrans crews have been doing seismic retrofitting work on the bridge since 1998 and are expected to complete the project by 2003. However, officials said Wednesday, that in light of Tuesday’s fatality, Caltrans is postponing all construction work on the bridge while it conducts a full investigation to determine the cause of the accident and how to prevent any similar occurrences in the future. 

“We intend to go forward with project once we know that safety issues have been addressed and solved. So we’re in a difficult position because we’re trying to make the bridge as safe as possible for earthquakes,” Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said. 


Looking for volunteers 


Volunteers are being sought to work on projects for the Eighth Annual Community Impact Day Oct. 6.  

More than 1,000 volunteers are needed for a variety of projects in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. Volunteers can choose projects benefiting the environment, children, single parents, and dozens of other community-based causes. 

To volunteer or to get more information on a project near you, telephone (650) 965-0242 or go to www.communityimpact.org. 


Help restore a creek 


Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, Friends of Strawberry Creek will remove non-native pepperweed at the Strawberry Creek outflow to the Bay and learn about efforts to restore native oysters to San Francisco Bay. Eco-crones will perform a short ritual. Save the Bay will offer an optional oyster workshop at 10:30 a.m.  

Meet at Seabreeze Market, University Avenue and Frontage Road.  

If you get there after 9 a.m., walk behind the market along University Avenue to the outflow and you’ll see us. Bring shovels and work gloves if you have them. Call 848-4008 for more info.