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New: Berkeley Today: Friday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday April 30, 2010 - 03:21:00 PM

In the news today: 


Wareham Nixes Cannabis Clinic's Plans to Move into Chocolate Factory 

Money solves everything, or at least in the case of Wareham Development, it helped prevent what the company considered a big thorn from moving into prime retail space located in West Berkeley. 

According to the Berkeley Voice Wareham recently bought the former Scharffen Berger Chocolate building at 914 Heinz St.--space the Berkeley Patients Group had earmarked for relocating their cannabis dispensary. 

The Berkeley Patients Group faced opposition from both Wareham, who contended that a cannabis dispensary would bring down real estate value and alienate prospective buyers, and Ecole Bilingue, a French American school located next to the candy factory. 

Ecole Bilingue argued that there was a loophole in city law which prohibited marijuana clinics from opening up 1,000 feet of public schools, but didn't mention anything about private schools. 

Both Wareham and Ecole Bilingue had threatened to sue if Berkeley Patients Group went ahead with their plans. 


More Pink Slips for BUSD Classified Employees 

The Berkeley Unified School District is facing a tough time once again, and on Wednesday the Berkeley Board of Education approved pink slips for 30 classified employees. 

The layoffs are expected to save about $900,000, a third of the district's projected shortfall, which has sent the district scrambling to find ways to stay afloat, including considering two furlough days in the new school year. 

School districts across California are feeling the pain of the state's budget crisis, and many schools have already increased class sizes and some are even teaching their students in the dark to save on energy bills. 


UC Berkeley Scientists Sequence Frog Genome 


The UC Berkeley News Center reported Thursday that a team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the university will publish the first genome sequence of an amphibian, the African clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis. 

The lead researchers hope that the discovery will fill a major gap among vertebrates sequenced until now, and can now go on to design gene chips to look at changes in gene expression across the whole genome. 


Hip Hop in People's Park Saturday 


Get ready for a free hip hop concert in People's Park Saturday, May 1, noon to 5 p.m., presented by the UC Berkeley Students for Hip Hop. 

Featuring: The Blue Scholars, Invincible, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Otayo Dubb, Raw G and  

Kurse; Hosted by Do D.A.T. More information.