Mayor Tom Bates was given the dubious honor of a Jefferson Muzzle Award last week for trashing nearly 1,000 copies of the UC Berkeley student newspaper the Daily Californian last November.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, a Virginia-based nonprofit that monitors free speech issues, gives out 10 Muzzles annually to those who apparently have forgotten Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech “cannot be limited without being lost.”
Bates, a former state assemblyman, known for his progressive record on human rights, the environment and civil rights, received the award for throwing out the papers one day before the Nov. 5 election. The issue carried the Daily Californian’s editorial endorsement of his opponent, incumbent Mayor Shirley Dean. The following day, Bates won with 56 percent of the vote compared to Dean’s 42 percent.
After first denying responsibility, Bates admitted his involvement and made a public apology prior to presiding over his first City Council meeting.
Other recipients of this year’s Muzzles include United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, the 107th United States Congress and the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Berkeley Second Most Livable
The American Foundation for the Blind has named Berkeley the second most livable city in the country for the visually impaired.
First place went to Charlotte, N.C., and third to Kalamazoo, Mich. Fourth was New York City.
Visually impaired residents from 116 cities responded to surveys about local conditions. The foundation rated each city for pedestrian safety, transportation, employment opportunities and access to cultural venues.
Berkeley’s state school for the blind opened in 1896. Berkeley is also home to the Center for Independent Living (CIL), which was the first nonprofit of its kind when it opened over 30 years ago.
Class of 2007
UC Berkeley officials have announced that 8,679 students have been admitted to the fall 2003 freshman class. Of that number, the university expects to enroll about 3,800, roughly the same number as last year.
Students were selected from a record 36,920 applicants, which officials say underscores that demand for admissions to the UC Berkeley is greater than ever.
Of the 8,679 admitted, 88 percent are California residents. There was a slight increase in Latino students from 12.1 percent to 12.2 percent, and a decrease in new black students to 3.5 percent from 3.7 percent. Asian Americans represent 40 percent of new students, slightly higher than last year, and white students comprise 32.9 percent of new admissions, down from 33.9 percent last year.
Women represent 56.3 percent of the incoming class, up from last year’s 55.6 percent.