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New: Berkeley Today:Thursday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 29, 2010 - 02:02:00 PM

A round-up of the day's interesting events as reported in other news media or otherwise. 


UC Berkeley Student Senate Fails to Overturn Israel Divestment Bill Veto 

The UC Berkeley student senate Wednesday failed to override the veto on a bill urging the university to divest from two American companies profiting by making weapons for the Israeli Army. 

Senators debated the issue until the early hours of Thursday morning, and at about 4 a.m. the student senate voted 13 to 5 to bypass the veto, one vote short of the required margin. 


Arizona Deportation Bill Protest at UC Berkeley 

Student organizers at UC Berkeley are expected to hold a mass deportation protest at Sproul Plaza on the Berkeley campus Thursday against the recent passage of SB 1070 in Arizona. The bill aims to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants and is being called one of the toughest—if not the toughest—illegal immigration bills in the country. 

A press release sent out by the rally's organizers, including Spanish-language students on campus, described the bill as “promoting racial profiling in Arizona, and creating a state of terror against immigrants and non-immigrants alike.” 

“[The bill] has made it necessary for campus community groups to act,” the press release says. The mass deportation action [will show our opposition to unjust and racist laws everywhere in this nation.” 

Over 500 students are expected to participate in what the press release described as “a dramatic representation” of an I.C.E. raid. 

“The main objective of this action is to illustrate the moral implications that this bill will generate not only in Arizona, but all over the United States,” a statement from the organizers said. “Although this law is targeted to the undocumented community, this issue affects everyone. It is an attack on our civil liberties, and a giant step backwards from a progressive society. SB 1070 is a seed for hate and predjudice, it dehumanizes communities and terrorizes families in Arizona and across the nation.” 


AC Transit Board Considers Declaring Fiscal Emergency 

AC Transit announced Wednesday that it might be facing a possible “state of emergency.” which could force its board of directors to declare fiscal crisis. 

Burdened with increasing costs and dwindling financial resources, the board at its Wednesday meeting called for a public hearing May 26, 2010 to discuss the possibility of a “fiscal emergency,” which would allow the district to make ongoing adjustments in service and operations to counter a massive financial crunch. 

AC Transit has recently seen a steady decline in traditional sources of funding, along with local sales and property taxes due to a weak local economy, according to a statement from the transit agency. 

The district is estimated to have an operating deficit of more than $56 million by the end of the fiscal year 2011.  

If the board declares a fiscal emergency, then it will be the second consecutive year the district has been forced to do so. 

Ozzie's Soda Fountain is Now in Elmwood Café 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Ozzie's Soda Fountain, which closed down in 2007, reopened in March in a new restaurant called the Elmwood Cafe 

Berkeley Reports a Drop in Youth Tobacco Sales 

The City of Berkeley reported Thursday that there has been a big drop in tobacco sales to young people in the city. 


Youth Spirit Works Artwork Relaunches South Berkeley Business District 

This Saturday, Youth Spirit Works Artwork will unveil “Visions of the Soul,” an art window banner exhibit for vacant storefronts to mark the launch of the Adeline Street Merchants Association, comprised of South Berkeley businesses and non-profit organizations. 

The event will take place May 1, noon to 1:30 p.m. at 3308 Adeline St.