2527 San Pablo Avenue?
2527 San Pablo Avenue?

Page One

UC Berkeley admissions up again since last year

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday July 07, 2017 - 12:58:00 PM

University of California at Berkeley officials said today they have offered freshman admission to more than 15,500 high school students for the upcoming school year, which represents a 7.6 percent increase from last year.

More offers were made to first-generation college students and underrepresented minority students than in the previous year, university officials said.

The number of admitted students whose parents did not attend college was 1,939 this fall compared to 1,638 for last fall. In addition, the number of underrepresented minority students, such as American Indians, blacks and Latinos, increased in all categories for a combined 2,881 offers, compared to 2,538 last year, UC Berkeley officials said.

"UC Berkeley continues to attract an outstanding pool of applicants," Amy Jarich, associate vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions, said in a statement.

"While we can still only offer admission to a fraction of those students, it's a sign of strong institutional commitment when we can offer seats to more of these academically talented and driven students," Jarich said.

Systemwide, the UC system admitted 1.7 percent fewer freshmen to its nine undergraduate campuses this fall compared to last.

UC officials said that despite the slight decline, the system is still on track to enroll an additional 2,500 California residents this fall. During the two-year period since fall 2015, UC admissions offers to California resident freshmen have increased by 13.2 percent.

In the fall of 2016, a historically large class was admitted to keep up with the three-year goal of enrolling 10,000 additional California undergraduates by fall 2018, UC officials said.

University officials said the total number of freshman admissions for fall 2017, including nonresident students, was 106,011, and for transfer students, the number was 24,685. Some 70,000 of those freshmen are from California and more than 21,000 of the transfer students are also from in the state.

UC officials said more California students are currently enrolled in the UC system than at any point in its history.

"All of us -- in California, and throughout the nation and world -- will be enriched by their talent, curiosity and drive to learn and succeed. The University of California educates the best and the brightest true to our mission of education, research and public service," UC president Janet Napolitano said in a statement. -more-

Public Comment

Hijacked Presidency

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 07, 2017 - 12:52:00 PM

Just as we lulled ourselves in believing that Trump had hit rock bottom, we proved to be wrong. Last Sunday he posted a video on Twitter running towards a wrestling ring and pummeling a dummy with a CNN logo in place of his head. The video had a predictable impact, a mixture of horror, hate mail and threats of violence directed at CNN and other media outlets. Another dark and sinister video was released by the NRA threatened those who oppose the president the “clenched fist of truth.” If violence occurs under the guise of defending the juvenile antics of the president the blame will clearly lie with the twitter-in-chief., his sycophants and enablers. Imagine the public reaction if the roles were reversed and CNN were the aggressor pinning a fake Trump to the ground. There is little doubt the Secret Service would be breaking down doors with guns blazing. We have fast become inured with his tweets, just another pile of dirt on a mountain of vulgarities. The bar has become so low we may have to dig underground to find it. It speaks volumes that Trump still refuses to acknowledge outside interference in our elections. He has made no effort to prevent future interference. What power does Putin wield over Trump? Perhaps Christopher Steel of MI6 can answer that question. -more-

Stonefire Lights Up; Let's Quit the Smokefree Guessing Game

Carol Denney
Friday July 07, 2017 - 05:26:00 PM

Stonefire Building construction workers come from all over the Bay Area, and those who smoke aren't allowed to do so on the construction site according to JR Madsen, the Assistant Project Superintendent for Brown Construction. "Our worksites don't allow smoking," stated Madsen, who said aside from the workplace health issues there were obvious safety issues with tossed cigarette butts and flammable construction materials. -more-

Do we trust the government today?

Romila Khanna
Friday July 07, 2017 - 10:57:00 AM

President Donald Trump believes in honey-coated words. His ego will not let him think about the country or public welfare. Empty words? I don't know after how many months of suffering the Supreme Power will evaluate his dangerous way of thinking which is harming the country. By harming the majority of sick, young and old, how can he have restful sleep? By favoring the billionaires, millionaires and his own businesses, and big companies, he is hurting the general public. I know he is very rich but he has forgotten the truth that, ordinary people helped him to become a successful businessman. He forgot that United States is a country, not a business, where he is the sole owner and he can hire or fire, and ask them to follow his orders. To run a country as President, one needs to hear the voices of all, not just his own. He is like a king and cannot think about others. -more-


UC expansion engulfs Berkeley

Becky O'Malley
Friday July 07, 2017 - 01:08:00 PM

Just in case you were wondering why it seems to take you 40 minutes to drive across Berkeley, when 20 minutes used to be plenty, why there’s no real point in trying to shop in downtown because it’s totally impossible to park there, why you can’t seem to find a place to rent that you can afford, despite the readily visible building boom….look no farther than the adjacent article from Bay City News: UC Berkeley admissions up again since last year.

Don’t get me wrong. I was infuriated when my granddaughter’s best friend didn’t make the cut at UC Berkeley despite high grades and test scores. I’m a proud Cal graduate myself, and can’t imagine why anyone would want to go anywhere else. But the town is jammed already, and it’s not getting any better. Where will we put them all?

The old dorms, forced by state policy to be financially self-sustaining, are already insanely expensive. And now, with UC Berkeley pitching itself to wealthy out-of-state students who pay high fees , with an emphasis on the privileged offspring of well-off foreigners, even pricier alternatives are on offer, under the rubric of “Affiliated Properties.” -more-

The Editor's Back Fence



Toni Mester
Friday July 07, 2017 - 12:51:00 PM

“Take it to the limit” sang the Eagles in 1975, but what applies to unrequited love in that great rock ballad is lousy advice when it comes to building design. But “maxing out” the building envelope is trending in permit applications and one more reason why we need to change the zoning code to ensure a truly livable Berkeley. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: The Resistance Bookshelf

Bob Burnett
Friday July 07, 2017 - 10:59:00 AM

If you're part of the Trump resistance, here are four books you should add to your summer reading list.

Strangers in Their Own Land (2016): Most of us are perplexed by Trump voters. My first two suggestions clarify the underlying psycho-political dynamics. In Strangers in Their Own Land, U.C. Berkeley Professor Arlie Hochschild elaborates the "deep story" of Louisiana Trump voters:

You are standing in a long line leading up a hill, as in a pilgrimage. You are situated in the middle of this line, along with others who are also white, older, Christian, and predominantly male... Just over the brow of the hill is the American Dream, the goal of everyone waiting in line. Most in the back of the line are people of color... Look! You see people cutting in line ahead of you! You're following the rules. They aren't. As they cut in, it feels like you are being moved back... Who are they? Women, immigrants, refugees, public sector workers -- where will it end?

Hochschild wrote, "the far right felt... there was a false PC over-up of [their] story... So it was with joyous belief that many heard a Donald Trump who seemed to be wildly, omnipotently, magically free of all PC constraint." The interviewees believe Trump, and big business in general, will provide the solutions to their (many) problems. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Many Reasons for "Noncompliance"

Jack Bragen
Friday July 07, 2017 - 10:54:00 AM

Today's piece does not represent a professional opinion, and you should consult your doctor or treatment professional if you are in doubt as to what to do.

The medical/mental health establishment expects much from persons who are given a diagnosis of a psychiatric condition. They expect us to accept a life-ruining diagnosis, they expect us to take psych medications that often have horrible side effects--which can cause a great deal of physical and mental suffering--and they expect us to accept the idea that we will never be normal.

Anosognosia is the term given to those who purportedly lack the insight that they are mentally ill. If we do not go along with the plan of being medicated, being supervised, being restricted, and accepting that we are useless, then, according to mental health workers, the cause of it has to be "lack of insight." -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:Trump unlikely to be removed from office

Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 07, 2017 - 11:05:00 AM

Marchers across the country are calling for Trump's impeachment. In my opinion, it is extremely unlikely that Donald Trump will be removed as president of the United States through the impeachment process and here's why. -more-

Arts & Events

Papers! Papers! Papers!
Berkeley Chamber Opera will open its 2017 season with“The Consul”

Ellen St. Thomas
Friday July 07, 2017 - 11:46:00 AM

Berkeley Chamber Opera will open its 2017 season with“The Consul”,by Gian Carlo Menotti at Berkeley's Hillside Club on Friday, July 14 and Sunday, July 16.

Berkeley Chamber Opera is dedicated to presenting operas which showcase the work of the Bay Area’s wealth of resident professional talent at a price which is affordable for a wide range of opera fans.

Under the musical direction of Maestro Alexander Katsman, “The Consul” will be presented in English accompanied by the Berkeley Chamber Opera orchestra. A tragic and thought-provoking work, it debuted on Broadway in 1950 and ran for eight months. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Music and New York Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Musical.

Brazilian director Igor Vieira, who has appeared as a leading baritone for more than 15 years, will make his Berkeley Chamber Opera directorial debut with the opening season.

Eliza O’Malley, founder and lead soprano was moved to produce this opera in response to the current climate of immigrant intolerance. She says: -more-

New: Original Musical “CASTLE HAPPY” at Alameda’s Altarena Playhouse July Festival

John McMullen, ATCA
Saturday July 08, 2017 - 04:02:00 PM
Errol and Bette

A new musical set at Hearst’s Castle with 1930s movie stars and moguls is about to be launched at Altarena Playhouse in Alameda July 20-30.

We’ve (most of us) taken the pilgrimage to San Simeon (or “The Enchanted Castle” or “The Ranch” or even “Xanadu,” so this could be extra fun with filling in the fantasy of the “goings-on” at the publisher’s sea-side palace.

New plays are always special, and Bay Area playwrights supply us with them in droves, but a new musical is a particular novelty. Are the songs memorable? Does the plot hold up? What’s the orchestration like?

The backstory of the any musical team is nearly as much of interest: did Gilbert and Sullivan really detest one another? What was it like between Rogers and Hart vs. Rogers and Hammerstein? What came first with Lerner and Lowe—lyrics, music, or both together?

Here is a window on the creation of “Castle Happy”-- -more-

Berlioz’s ROMEO AND JULIET Closes the Symphony Season

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday July 07, 2017 - 01:07:00 PM

The 2016-17 San Francisco Symphony season came to a rousing close with four performances, June 28-July 1, of Hector Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette. This 1839 work by Berlioz is hard to categorize. The composer called it “a choral symphony,” and that’s about as good a description as one can get, for Roméo et Juliette is not an opera, though there’s much here that is operatic. Nor is it an oratorio, though it has some similarities to an oratorio. What is quite different about Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet is the fact that it has a fairly detailed narrative recounting, in symphonic and choral terms, the well-known plot of Shakespeare’s famous play of the same title. In addition to a large chorus, Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet has three vocal soloists. However, these soloists do not, for the most part, sing character roles. Two of the three soloists simply join with the chorus in narrating the actions and, more importantly, the feelings the characters have at any given moment. Only at the end of the work does a soloist appear who sings a character role, and that character is Friar Laurence. -more-

Back Stories



UC expansion engulfs Berkeley 07-07-2017

The Editor's Back Fence

Now read this 07-07-2017

Public Comment

Hijacked Presidency Jagjit Singh 07-07-2017

Stonefire Lights Up; Let's Quit the Smokefree Guessing Game Carol Denney 07-07-2017

Do we trust the government today? Romila Khanna 07-07-2017


UC Berkeley admissions up again since last year Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 07-07-2017


SQUEAKY WHEEL: Maxing Out Toni Mester 07-07-2017

THE PUBLIC EYE: The Resistance Bookshelf Bob Burnett 07-07-2017

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Many Reasons for "Noncompliance" Jack Bragen 07-07-2017

ECLECTIC RANT:Trump unlikely to be removed from office Ralph E. Stone 07-07-2017

Arts & Events

Papers! Papers! Papers!
Berkeley Chamber Opera will open its 2017 season with“The Consul”
Ellen St. Thomas 07-07-2017

New: Original Musical “CASTLE HAPPY” at Alameda’s Altarena Playhouse July Festival John McMullen, ATCA 07-08-2017

Berlioz’s ROMEO AND JULIET Closes the Symphony Season Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 07-07-2017