PG&E patches up problem pipes in West Davis

Back in February 27, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) began a project to replace 2,000 feet of natural gas distribution lines in the Stonegate neighborhood of West Davis. In November 2011, a total of 42 gas leaks had been reported, but the number has risen to 60 in the months since. A total of 81 gas leaks have been reported since 2006. David Johnson, a resident of Stonegate, had experienced not one, but two gas leaks at his home over an 18 month span. “I didn’t think anything about it, then my neighbor had one and then my across the street neighbor had one,” Johnson said. The current replacement project is targeted toward only a small portion, roughly 8 percent, of the entire 4.7 miles of gas lines in Stonegate. This area has, however, had the largest concentration of leaks. It began in late February and is expected to be completed by early May. PG&E has been working on the project on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. A boring process is utilized that... ...

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Aggies build momentum at Mondo

Head coach Drew Wartenburg had hoped to succeed in all aspects of this weekend’s meet. UC Davis certainly achieved that goal. The Aggie men capitalized on the performance of senior Ethan Ostrum, who won the men’s pole vault after clearing 5.0m. Sophomore Nathan Strum and freshman Trevor Ehlenbach earned a 1-2 finish in the 1,500m run and the men’s 4X400m relay team brought home the final win of the day for UC Davis’ men with a season-best time of 3:15.21. Junior Michael Petersen added another six points to the Aggie total after vaulting 4.85m. Sophomore Hosea Tate and freshman Jason Chandler, two members of the winning 4X400m relay team, also captured points for the Aggies after placing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200m. Their other relay mate, sophomore Karl Moran, finished fifth in the 500m with a season-best time of 49.85. Senior Robert Neely also added points to UC Davis’ card by placing fourth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.02. On the field side of the... ...

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Students lock lips in protest

Last Friday, students took part in a “Kiss-in Against Capital” at the Memorial Union (MU). Participants gathered at noon to make out and bring awareness to student debt and issues concerning the UC Regents. The event took place in solidarity with similar events around the world. — HANNAH STRUMWASSER ...

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Column: Is Les more?

The last few weeks have seen significant turnover in UC Davis men’s basketball. Head coach Jim Les’ announcement of the departures of sophomores Harrison Dupont, Alex Tiffin and Mike Kurtz was followed just a week later by the announcement that freshman Tyrell Corbin would be leaving the Aggies at the end of the academic year. To many UC Davis basketball fans, this seems all too similar to the dreaded Gary Stewart years. Aggie fans can still remember the 2010 departures of players like Jelani Floyd (now at Florida Atlantic) and 2009-10 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year Julian Welch (who averaged nearly 10 points per-game this season for Minnesota). But with that sad history in mind, a closer examination indicates that this time will most likely be different. Let’s taking the departures one by one. With all due respect to Kurtz (and he has been the butt of many jokes from The Aggie over the past two years) it never really seemed like he had a place in Les’... ...

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Forum held on free expression within a university setting

A forum was held last Tuesday titled Freedom of Expression in the University: Rights and Challenges, which explored freedom of expression on college campuses and the ideas of civility and respect. A panel consisting of Professor of Law Vik Amar, Professor of Law Alan Brownstein, UC Davis Civility Project affiliate Jaki Joanino, UC Davis Civility Project affiliate Chris McCroy and Senior Counsel to the UC Office of the President Margaret Wu was moderated by Dean of the UC Davis School of Law Kevin Johnson and undergraduate student Tatiana Bush. Opening the forum, panelists took turns explaining specific aspects of the First Amendment and what the Civility Project is. Panelists then took questions from the audience that mostly centered around recent events on campus concerning free speech and free expression. “We protect the right for people to express themselves authentically,” said Brownstein, speaking of the United States government. Brownstein went on to explain government’s role as a regulator of speech through such mediums as content-neutral regulations that state that the non-communicative impact of speech can be regulated. “People who speak with... ...

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ASUCD grants money to community-specific graduations

At the ASUCD Senate meeting last Thursday, a bill that would increase the amount of funds granted to community-specific ceremonies was passed unanimously. The bill (SB 89), which was revised from a previous version (SB 67), will distribute money to six graduation groups through the reallocation of unused reserves, as opposed to unused grants. The previous bill attempted to allocate half of the loans from the Club Finance Council (CFC) and half from senate reserves. The CFC provides about $80,000 in grants and loans to eligible and registered undergraduate campus organizations, but due to restrictions enforced last year by Student Affairs, department-sponsored student clubs and organizations are no longer able to receive ASUCD funding through CFC for events, according to the bill. The bill expressed that due to recent incidents of hate targeting underrepresented communities on campus, the inviting environment of the university has been compromised. “This has greatly affected the perception UC Davis has among underrepresented communities, and is a problem which must be rectified through re-establishing a safe... ...

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Column: Instaland

So, you probably heard: Facebook bought Instagram for one billion dollars. Yes, as in nine zeros. I guess Silicon Valley is somehow immune to the concept of economic downturn. Note to self: spend two years developing a popular mobile app, then sell company – and soul – to Mark Zuckerberg. The tech world let out a collective gasp when the news broke last Monday, but not because it’s an absurd amount of money. It’s just an absurd amount of money for Instagram. One billion is a hell of a lot for a company that a) has, like, thirteen employees, b) makes no revenue and c) is worth half of that amount. Instagram was valued at $500 million just a month ago — still a hefty chunk of change, but nothing like the cool billion Facebook forked over. The photo-sharing network may not be worth what Facebook paid, but it’s clear that Instagram is no ordinary app. Over 33 million iOS users (and counting) have downloaded the mobile application — that’s... ...

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Column: Dream a little dream

Hey, what are dreams? I mean, I know they’re the sounds/images/sensations that flit through our heads when we’re sleeping, but what actually are they? And what do they do? And do we even need them? Let’s go way back. Usually this is the part of an informational column about dreams where we’d go back to the Ancient Greeks and start there. But I don’t want to do that because I’m sick of everything starting with the Greeks just because we in the West were trained by some Enlightenment hot shots to think of them as our intellectual ancestors. It’s West-centric! I’m over it! Nah, friends. I’d rather talk about the Upanishads. What are the Upanishads? I’m glad you asked, rhetorically useful voice in my head! The Upanishads are a collection of philosophical writings from old-timey India on the nature of existence, the value of ritual and other such weighty what-not. The part about dreams is mostly in the Mandukya Upanishad. Say that out loud, it’s very enjoyable. The scholarship on... ...

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New Safe Party website launched

In September 2005, as part of the Safer California Universities study and newly formed Safe Party Initiative, a Safe Party website was created. This year, the website has been revamped and optimized for iOS and Android, allowing students easier access to the website on their phones. “‘Party throwers’ and ‘party goers’ can find out how to keep the party going, help a friend in an emergency and make it home after a night out,” said Mandy Li, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Students can call Tipsy Taxi, local taxi cab companies and Unitrans with one-touch dialing on mobile devices.” After meeting with various focus groups, the designers of the website determined it to be outdated. The team in charge of the website included Li, several ATOD Student Assistants and Adam Napolitan, Student Health and Counseling Services Communications Director. “Really, this is embracing the mobile web experience and allowing the site to be agile and adjust for the user’s browsing needs,” said Napolitan, who served as the... ...

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Picnic Day leaders, students beg you to “Handle Your Shit”

UC Davis’ 98th annual Picnic Day is just around the corner and this year’s festivities will once again be promoted by the grassroots campaign, “Handle Your Shit.” The campaign was started last year by a few students who worked to save Picnic Day from being permanently shut down due to consistent violations concerning alcohol possession both within the university and the city of Davis. The campaign encourages all people who visit Davis on Picnic Day to practice safe drinking and responsible partying. ASUCD president Rebecca Sterling said that the administration and the city of Davis are concerned about the increase from 40,000 to 100,000 people coming to the Picnic Day celebration, as well as community members feeling unsafe due to house parties and reported hate crimes. While the Picnic Day safety enhancement zone, which outlines the areas of the city in which alcohol-related offenses will incur steep fines, have been expanded this year, the annual event is facing the same risks from previous years, said former ASUCD President Adam Thongsavat.... ...

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Senate Briefs

ASUCD Senate meetings are scheduled to begin Thursdays at 6:10 p.m. Times listed are according to the clock at the April 12, 2012 meeting location, the Memorial Union’s Mee Room. The ASUCD president is not required to attend senate meetings. Meeting called to order at 6:14 p.m. Rebecca Sterling, ASUCD president, present, arrived late, left early Yena Bae, ASUCD vice president, present Kabir Kapur, ASUCD senator, present Jared Crisologo-Smith, ASUCD senator, present Bradley Bottoms, ASUCD senator, present Justin Goss, ASUCD senator, present Annamaria Kimball, ASUCD senator, pro tempore, present Paul Min, ASUCD senator, present Don Gilbert, ASUCD senator, present Joyce Han, ASUCD senator, present Erica Padgett, ASUCD senator, present, arrived late, left early Beatriz Anguiano, ASUCD senator, present Patrick Sheehan, ASUCD senator, present Yara Zokaie, ASUCD senator, present Consideration of old legislation Senate Bill 98, authored by Alperin, co-authored by Bae, Barnett, Bottoms, Kapur, Kimball, Lipp, Padgett, Sterling and Stone, introduced by Kimball, to allocate $1,358 from Senate Reserves to TEDxUCDavis for the second annual TEDxUCDavis conference on May 19.... ...

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