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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:17 AM
Original message
Cal wins big in battle over athletic center
Source: SF Chronicle

07-22) 20:44 PDT Berkeley -- An Alameda County judge gave UC Berkeley the go-ahead on Tuesday to clear dozens of trees next to Memorial Stadium and build a proposed athlete training center, a crucial victory for Cal in a protracted battle marked by a widely publicized protest by tree-sitters that began in December 2006.

The long-awaited decision issued late in the day by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller said the university has satisfied environmental and seismic-safety requirements for the project, which has been blocked by a court injunction since February 2007.

Miller said the injunction can be lifted in a week. She postponed removal of the injunction for seven days to give opponents an opportunity to appeal to the state Court of Appeal.

The decision came as a blow to the three plaintiffs that had sought to block the facility - the City of Berkeley, the California Oak Foundation and a neighborhood group, the Panoramic Hill Association. Miller ordered them to pay 85 percent of court costs.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/0...
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LeftCoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pretty sad. They're spending millions to build directly on an earthquake fault
AND they're going to cut down (most of) a beautiful grove of old oak trees to do it.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Unless they move the entire campus to a new location...
...there's very little they can do about it. Cal is on top of the fault. They can either build new buildings there (with much better seismic characteristics) or they can keep using the old ones, or they can raze the entire campus.

As for the trees, coast live oak is not even remotely an endangered species and Cal has promised to compensate by planting trees elsewhere.
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Stewie Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. Most earthquake faults are deep within the earth
Not on the surface, and most move only a few inches every ten thousand years.

I would imagine there are thousands of buildings all over the country built on faults, and no one knows and never will.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. It's easy to spot them in California. You just have to look for a major
hospital, school or sports facility.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. Hayward is a surface fault
And sections of it move several inches a decade. It has been identified many times as the most dangerous faultline in North America because of its shallow depth and its high activity levels.

Berkeley actually has an information page about the faultline and its impacts and hazards to the campus. If you go here and scroll down a bit, you can actually see photos of the building offsets and distortions that the fault creep has already created on the campus. http://seismo.berkeley.edu/hayward/ucb_campus.html
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lolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. For a handful of elite athletes
I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the center is ONLY for use by the varsity athletes (many of whom probably won't even graduate from Cal).

So--tear up a beautiful grove of trees so that a couple hundred elite athletes will have a nicer place to lift weights and treadmill before they leave college early and make gazillions of dollars.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Cal alum here. It's all about marketing.
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 12:04 PM by Xithras
The Bears are a Pac-10 team that raises the profile of the university and helps to bring in all sorts of endowments. Those endowments help to fund all sorts of other programs and campus development that assists all students. Yes, they spend a lot of money on spoiled athletes, but in doing so they bring even more money into the university. It's a win for all of the students, whether they're athletes or not.

Here's the rub. Good athletes have to be recruited, and they are usually juggling multiple offers when they select a school to attend. The quality of the facilities is a big part of a student athletes decision on which school they're going with. Other major universities are upgrading or replacing their facilities, so Berkeley has to either update their own or start losing top tier athletes and accept a second-rate team. Doing that will cause the money to dry up.

Student for student, Berkeley gets no more money than any other campus is the UC system, and they don't get nearly enough money from the state to fund all of their programs. If they didn't have resources like the Cal Bears to pull in alternative revenue streams, they'd have to cut programs and reduce course availability, which would hurt everyone. Lots of Berkeley students don't actually like football, but it's understood that the prestige (and in turn, money) they bring into the school are essential if it's to continue being a top tier institution.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Class of '81 here
and unfortunately you're right on all counts. It's a sucky system, but there it is. Cal's still got one of the most beautiful (and forested) campuses in the country. I haven't seen it in person in almost 20 years and I miss it.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. '94. Dad was '70. Daughter wants to be '16. Son wants to go to Stanford :(
I'm hoping it's just a phase he's going through to irritate his dear old dad :banghead:
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Boo son *hiss* Snodfart
My dad was '50-something, not sure, actually. I'm impressed, though, your dad was there during a most turbulent period. When I was there (77-83, got my masters there too) we had a lot of anti-draft/anti-Reagan demonstrations, plus the South Africa divestiture movement was going on then too. Man I miss the place. 2000 miles away now though.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. Yeah, my dad was a genuine Berkeley hippie.
He told me once that he'd have dropped out like most of his friends, but my grandfather swore that he'd hunt him down and beat him to a bloody pulp if he didn't graduate. My grandfather had mortgaged his home to send my dad to Berkeley, and he didn't make idle threats :)

So he protested and smoked pot by day, and crammed for classes at night. He graduated, but only barely.

I expected a lot when I got there, but by the early 90's the campus was quiet. Still, being a CompSci major at Berkeley just as the Internet was going public and PC's were starting to penetrate the home was exciting from a geeky standpoint! There was no time for protesting...we were busy trying to change the world!
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. LOL, back in my day
you could always spot the CS majors (as we called them) because when finals came around they all walked around carrying huge stacks of punch cards--their final projects.

I figured the 90's would have been quieter, with a Dem in office.

Go Beers! :hi:
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Punch cards? LOL! We'd traded those for floppy disks by the time I was there.
BTW, Bush Sr. was actually president for most of my time at Berkeley. There were some minor political protests during the first Gulf War, but nothing on the scale of the 60's. There were also some NAFTA protests, but again I don't think any of them really attracted more than a few hundred people (I was involved with some of those, and we were always disappointed with the turnout).
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. Punch cards! There's blast from the past.
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 04:44 PM by Mz Pip
I remember those. When I was a student at Cal I had a job in Evans Hall keying data onto punch cards. It was noisy work with all those key punch machines going.

Geez, that was a long long time ago. Sigh.

Go Bears. Beat Stanfurd.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. Your dad graduated the same year as my mom
Did you go to the graduation ceremony?

I sure did! And I was born in '77! :D
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. Terran -- I'm an alum too. I went back recently...You won't recognize a lot of it.
It's like they are trying to cram as many buildings as possible onto a relatively small area of acreage. I understand the dorm building -- remember the housing shortages there? But, jeez, the campus is overflowing with buildings that don't necessarily have anything to do with each other, architecturally.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Yeah, I know they built a big life sciences building, or something?
That's somewhere near the Eucalyptus Grove (which I hope is still there??)? There's nowhere to expand, really, as I'm sure the city doesn't want the university enchroaching any more than it alrerady has, so they have to cram more buildings in. Ah progress.

Best campus memory: tripping on shrooms one December night with friends, at the base of the Campanile looking up, and seeing it as a platform extending out into space. That and just hanging out on Sproul Plaza.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. Man, there was nothing like those Sproul Plaza afternoons, was there?
The sun, the crowds passing under Sather Gate, the leafletters, the smell of falafels :), the chimes of the Campanile ... And, when I was there, Scott the Piano Man would wheel out his piano and play tunes during lunch time almost every day. Other campus characters were Rick Starr the very bad singer, the Bubble Lady, the wear a red-ribbon-against-apartheid guy, the transvestite guy, and the woman who walked her goat and her pig on campus ... Ahhh, those were the days.
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lolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Yeah, I know
Speaking as a UCLA alum, with a daughter at Cal, who has taught at USC . . . I do understand how these things work.


Still, it seems like a never ending spiral. And it's one reason most schools lose money on athletics. It is a bit galling to see major academic institutions competing so desperately for the favors of a few 18-year olds who don't really care much about academics anyway.
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ChazII Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. This deserves a DUzy for common sense.
imho.
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. Um, let's not forget that Berkeley students are rabid Bears fans
You left out that the teams entertain the students and alumni.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Some.
Yeah, lots of students went to the games when I was attending. I didn't, and there was no shortage of other students who didn't either. In the early 90's I'd say that maybe HALF of the students were really into the games or followed them with any regularity. The rest ignored it (except for the Stanford games...everyone went to those).
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. right
In the early 80's I lived in the Student Co-op (notorious Barrington Hall) and most co-oppers could have cared less about collegiate sports. I bet it's somewhat the same now.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Heh, I was a Bowlesman...briefly.
Most of my dormsmates were rabid Cal fanatics. It felt like a frat most of the time, so it didn't take long for me and a few friends to rent an apartment and move out.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Ah yes, Bowles Hall (lol)
The male bastion on the hill. A friend from high school got placed there our first year, and he was a proto-hippy, real bad result for him, but I think he found the 'guys' amusing. Another friend got into Stern Hall down the road, the all-female dorm, and it was equally bad in its own way!

I lived in Ida Sproul for a couple of years, mainly because of the great Bay views. I was a Cal fan too, never missed a game until grad school. Hoo boy, good times! "SC SUCKS! SC SUCKS" Heehee!
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. They've pretty much destroyed it now.
I was just there a couple of years ago and was shocked at the changes to Bowles. Apparently it's only open to freshman for their first year now, they've shut down the dining halls (which sucks, since the Friday BBQ's were the best part of being there), and the whole building seems to be slowly disintegrating. Lots of the old Bowles traditions aren't practiced anymore. I was told that they cracked down on it a couple of years ago because it just started getting out of control.

Still got my "Hello asshole!" when I walked past though :)
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. Boalt Hall 1987 here
I loved those trees but unfortunately, Cal needs the damn facility, for reasons well stated above. They know the Haward fault will blow one day, so these facilties will be some the most seismically engineered structures in the world. I bet they thought about just packing up and moving, leaving nothing but practice fields for general university use. But where? Oakland? Fremont? The East Bay is one of the most population dense regions in CA. There was no other place else to move in an economically viable manner. Anyway, Go Bears!
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. I used to work at Boalt
in the cafeteria there, circa 1979-1983 (checking off names of residents as they went into eat). I guess I *just* missed you, lol.
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