Reynoso pepper spray task force results released

The results from the pepper spray task force chaired by former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso were released publicly Wednesday at noon. The task force held a meeting for the public in the afternoon to discuss the findings. “We aren’t making anyone happy with our report. We find there is a lot that should have happened that didn’t happen,” Reynoso said during his introduction. The report covers the event and and gives recommendations to the campus, administration and police force, based on the Kroll Report, a report conducted by a risk management firm. The ultimate conclusion of the report was that the event could have been mitigated. “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented,” the report states. The report states that the use of police was decided upon before the administration considered alternative options, and that other options seem “almost self-evident.” “Delaying the deployment of police to remove the tents for even a few days would have provided... ...

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Column: The big breakup

Breaking up is hard to do. One second you’re so close, connecting and revealing your soul to another individual and the next moment, you’re … nothing. Just two people who shared something once upon a time. Transitioning from one type of relationship to another with a person is complicated to say the least. There are all kinds of emotions to deal with and a bunch of loose ends to tie up. The lucky ones are able to push past the discomfort and end on amicable terms. Others … not so much. Yes, breakups can be super messy, but they honestly shouldn’t be. There was a breakup in the news that recently fell on the messy side. Not a celebrity divorce — those happen so often I can hardly keep up with them. This was a professional breakup, but it does mirror the romantic kind. The news commentator Keith Olbermann, from the news program “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” was fired by the network Current TV after working there for a little... ...

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A look into the world of beer

Beer is a beverage that many college students may be familiar with as a simple refreshing drink, but the complexity of the brewing process is another story. While brewers throughout the world may differ in the types of beers they make, the consistency of the brewing process remains. The complex process of brewing a beer has withstood a long history, so how is a beer made and what are the brewer’s goals? “It’s very difficult to produce a good beer,” said Charles Bamforth, professor at the department of food and science technology at UC Davis. “It’s confidently the most complicated and demanding process in the food and beverage industry.” According to Bamforth, the process starts out with barley grain being made into malt. After the soaked malt sprouts, it is allowed to dry, when different flavors and colors are produced. The sprouted and dried malt is stored for a month, and then it is ground up and milled to produce smaller particles. These small particles are then mixed with hot... ...

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Fig+Axle reading series showcases local poets

Many of UC Davis’ student-run clubs typically meet, greet and operate solely through the campus community. However, the UC Davis English department’s graduate reading series, Fig+Axle, hopes to be an exception to this idea, as it unites the institutional atmosphere of UC Davis with the surrounding Davis community. Fig+Axle began as a reading series which exclusively showcased the work of writers and poets in Voorhies Hall. Now, the club is doing things differently. The monthly reading format has been retained, but this time the reading series will move around town, incorporating various communities outside campus. Fig+Axle also now advertises upcoming writing and poetry-reading events on its Tumblr page. At the reading events, English department graduate students share their written material with peers, which is an audience that is beginning to expand beyond primarily other UC Davis graduate students to include undergraduate students, members of the community and visitors and students from outside the area. Reading series locations are now not just limited to Voorhies, or to UC Davis students; rather,... ...

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High nitrate levels in drinking water concerning for rural Californians

The Tulare and Salinas Basins – home to half of California’s cow population and 40 percent of its irrigated agricultural land – are vital assets to the state of California. But the area also possesses a significant threat to its 2.6 million residents, and until now most of them were unaware of it. A recent report compiled by researchers at UC Davis investigated the safety of drinking water in the Tulare and Salinas Basins. The study was performed in response to state legislation passed in 2008 requiring a detailed examination of nitrate levels in the Tulare Lake Basin, which includes Fresno and Bakersfield, and the Salinas Valley, which includes Salinas and areas near Monterey. “These are two areas that have a history of pretty high nitrate contamination in their ground water,” said George Kostyrko, director of the Office of Public Affairs at the California State Water Resource Control Board. According to the report, “Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water,” they found that one in 10 people living in these areas... ...

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Baseball Preview

Teams: UC Davis at Sacramento State; vs. Pacific Records: Aggies 11-13 (0-3); Hornets (16-16); Tigers 10-21 (0-3) Where: Josh Smith Field, Sacramento; Dobbins Field When:  Wednesday at 2 p.m.; Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. Who to watch: Junior third baseman Paul Politi reached base in 14 straight games and compiled a seven-game hit streak before it was snapped against Cal State Fullerton. Look for the “hot-corner” man to start a new streak this weekend. Did you know? UC Davis has 34 sacrifice bunts on the season, ranking them 43rd nationally. Senior Ryan Allgrove leads the team with eight. Preview: The UC Davis baseball team will be happy to return to Dobbins Field this weekend, having won only once on a seven-game road trip that included the start of Big West Conference play. The Aggies had three one-run losses during the stretch, two of which were a product of Cal State Fullerton’s late-inning comebacks. “In the first one they put hits together and just... ...

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Stafford Loan interest rate will expire this summer

About 8 million low- to middle-income students will see an increase in interest rate of the subsidized Stafford Loan when it expires this upcoming July. The current rate is 3.4 percent; it will increase to 6.8 percent by this summer. According to CALPIRG Federal Higher Education Advocate Rich Williams, this issue is a big priority in Congress at the moment, which is working to keep higher education accessible. According to opencongress.org, the interest rate for the subsidized Stafford Loan decreased over the years due to the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which “seeks to lower the cost of higher education by reducing lender subsidies by $19 billion and then investing those funds in programs that increase grant amounts to students, improve access to student loans, cut interest rates on student loans, provide for the repayment of parts of the loans through employment or service in areas of national need, and reward colleges for lowering costs to students.” “An issue with student loans is that it does not provide protection... ...

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UC Davis Cancer Center receives ‘comprehensive’ status

The UC Davis Cancer Center has recently achieved a “comprehensive” designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland. The new “comprehensive” designation signifies that the Cancer Center, now called the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, has demonstrated major levels of achievement in research and patient care, according to Ralph de Vere White, the director of the center. The National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, was set up to defeat cancer. However, the NCI “can’t do everything to defeat cancer in Bethesda,” de Vere White said. The UC Davis center will receive continued infrastructure funding from NCI to support its comprehensive activities. Funding from NCI for the infrastructure of the UC Davis program has grown from $8.8 million to $35 million in the last 10 years. “Our center crosses the whole campus,” de Vere White said.  “We see ourselves as a campus-wide resource.” In addition to the patient services provided by the Comprehensive Cancer Center, there are six programs under which the center’s... ...

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Column: Trace nutrients

Do you take multivitamins? If you do, take a look at the back of the bottle at the ingredients list. Apart from vitamins A, B, C and E, how many of the ingredients do you recognize? Unless you’re a nutrition student, I’m guessing many of the names are unfamiliar. Most of these compounds are what are called micronutrients. Like the name implies, these are nutrients that people only need in tiny amounts, unlike things like carbohydrates or protein (which are called macronutrients). For the most part, taking more than these tiny amounts usually isn’t necessary and can sometimes be harmful. Any more than small amounts of vitamin C, for example, is usually passed harmlessly but pointlessly through the body into the urine. Overdose of iron, however, can cause black and/or bloody stool, nausea, low blood pressure or even convulsions; this is why iron is often not an ingredient of multivitamins meant for children. When I was looking at the back of a vitamin bottle, many of the ingredients were either... ...

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Local residents propose renovation of downtown tunnel

Michael Bisch, co-president of the Downtown Davis Business Association, and Dr. Stephen Nowicki, a local pediatrician, have conceptualized a new archway to replace the one that beckons drivers off the Interstate 80 and into Davis. “Michael Bisch was the inspirational force behind this idea,” Nowicki said. “He had the idea to convert the roadway into a mechanism to pass into a more child-friendly environment, like taking a step back in time. He asked me if I’d be willing to sketch some ideas.” The two would like to use the renovation of the archway to bring back the history of the town. “Welcoming arches were once common amongst cities. Davis itself had one in 1916, but the piece was lost through demolition,” Nowicki said. The remodel would employ a structural element called the Gabion archway, which is a sort of wire composition many architects use for homes. “A sort of wire cage is constructed and filled with rocks, corks, wine bottles or other objects,” Nowicki said. “This gives flexibility for you... ...

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ASUCD temporarily exempt from Shared Services Center

Last Thursday, ASUCD President Rebecca Sterling announced that ASUCD has been exempted from the UC Davis Shared Services Center. The Shared Services Center, which is intended to centralize all campus services in order to make them more efficient, would have cost ASUCD $235,560 a year. Sterling argued that if ASUCD had been forced to join the Shared Services Center, it would have become less efficient. “Had we joined in the center we would have been using student fees to pay for an unnecessary tax which would cost more for the same services we already do, and decrease our ability to be the largest student employer on campus,” Sterling said in an e-mail interview. Mark Champagne, former ASUCD business manager, agreed. “If the issue is about University efficiency, then ASUCD should be exempted permanently.  ASUCD can process their own transactions for far less money than the Shared Services Center,” Champagne said in an e-mail interview. Students vote to decide how their fees are used within ASUCD. Champagne said that students should... ...

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Davis Volunteer Network launches a new site

For those looking to volunteer in or around town, a single website has the information needed to get started. The Davis Volunteer Network site debuted eight months ago to publicize volunteer opportunities and charitable events within the Davis community and the UC Davis campus. UCD graduate Daniel Donnelly began Davisvolunteernetwork.org in early July 2011, but he created a new site, volunteer-net.org, to allow for more flexibility and engagement with both users and organizations. Donnelly, who is originally from Santa Cruz, received a bachelor’s degree in international relations in 2011. He works part-time in town, along with developing his website. He previously had an internship at a nonprofit in Valencia, Spain until April 2011. He came up with the idea for the site in Fall 2010. “I tried to start a nonprofit with another firm, but it didn’t work out,” he said. “I had the idea because I wanted to represent nonprofits and wanted to start nonprofit. It’s the best way to contribute to communities and provide more support for nonprofits... ...

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Davis researchers find insight into the cause of COPD

While it has long been known that smoking can cause serious health problems, researchers at UC Davis have been conducting research that shows how smoking causes an immune response that compounds the harm of smoking. The focus of the research has been on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and the surprising discovery is that COPD arises from excess immune cells entering the lung tissue. “Eighty percent of people with COPD are smokers,” said Kent Pinkerton, a professor in the UC Davis School of Medicine and director of the Center for Health and the Environment. “COPD is related to both asthma and emphysema. It is a serious disease that makes it hard to breathe and causes tissue damage in the lungs.” COPD is considered a very deadly disease, killing nearly three million people every year just in the United States. In patients with COPD, tissue inflammation in the lungs skews the delicate balance of cells that line the airways. This leads to increased vulnerability to infection and a reduced ability... ...

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Proposed SCC mural canceled due to irresolvable criticisms

Work on the designing of a new mural for the Student Community Center (SCC) has been halted after facing criticism from SCC stakeholders and community members. The mural, which was to be painted on the North Wall of the SCC, was a quarter-long project of the Winter quarter Chicano/a Studies 171: Mural Workshop class. The nine-student class, lead by Assistant Professor Maceo Montoya, said they sought to “create a mural that would enable people to reflect and think critically about the world we live in,” on a blog documenting their design process. The three-paneled mural design would have included imagery that is symbolic of solidarity between various cultural minority groups on campus. It included faces that blended into one another, women’s breadth dancers that would represent cultural diversity and confidence, and peacock feathers that symbolized all-seeing knowledge and openness in Ancient Greece and Buddhism, respectively. Another panel included an agricultural field inspired by Yolo County. Student columns represented the notion that the SCC is comprised of students. The next panel... ...

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Column: Adonis complex

The secret’s out, everybody. It’s spring quarter. That means lying out and looking good on the grassy knoll at the Rec Pool. It means getting drunk and looking good on the deck at HB2K12. For us guys, we get to wear tank tops and scream, “Sun’s out guns out, bro!” while cruising around on longboards and wearing those goofy plastic sunglasses with the colored rims. Are those ironically cool, or just cool? I can never figure it out. Anyways, the bottom line is it’s skin-baring season and it’s time to show that we have the muscle-bound bodies of Greek gods. Around this time of year, there’s a problem that goes unaddressed. It’s an unwritten rule to ignore an issue that stares back at us from the mirror. Some of us aren’t Greek gods. If Achilles looked like me then he had more soft spots than just around the ankles. The truth is, most of us are more (insert wordplay using god name and fat looks). But fear not, my fellow... ...

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