Review Category : Front page story

Community organizations fundraise for Typhoon Haiyan victims

Since the onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013, several organizations, businesses and prominent groups in Davis are holding fundraisers to aid those directly affected by the storm. Some members of the Davis-Yolo County Filipinos and Fil-Am at UC Davis are originally from the affected areas and still have families living there. Ruth Asmundson, the former mayor of the City of Davis from 2002 to 2010, is leading the fundraising efforts. During Asmundson’s eight-year term as mayor for the City of Davis, she had the opportunity to build many social connections for fundraising efforts. “Since I have done many fundraising events for good and humanitarian causes … I could call on them for help,” Asmundson said in an email. “In my experience Davis and Yolo County friends are very kind and generous for good causes.” The organization held a fundraising luncheon at St. James Memorial Center on Nov. 23. They sold about 350 tickets for $35 each, raising about $12,250. They served an authentic Filipino lunch to... ...

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Food stamp cuts hit Yolo County

On Nov. 1, more than 47 million Americans who take part in the federal food stamp program saw their monthly benefits shrink as a temporary boost from the 2009 stimulus package expired. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan think tank, a family of four collecting the maximum monthly benefit of $668 saw a reduction of $36. These cuts will average out to less than $1.40 per individual meal in 2014. The reductions were planned as a phaseout of part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a piece of which raised the benefits for food stamp recipients by 13.6 percent. Often referred to as food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides federal aid to help low-income individuals purchase food. California’s program, known as CalFresh, covers about 4.2 million people, or 11 percent of the state’s population. As of September 2013, Yolo County had 16,845 residents participating in CalFresh, about eight percent of the county’s total population. However, according to Nancy O’Hara, the... ...

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AFSCME 3299 members protest systemwide

On Nov. 20, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for the University of California (AFSCME 3299) went on a one-day Unfair Labor Practice Strike of nine UC campuses and five UC medical centers. The union, which represents university service and patient care workers, struck in response to alleged intimidation by UC management when they participated in a two-day hospital strike in May. The systemwide strike began at 6 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m. on the same day. AFSCME 3299 members employed at UC Davis held their strike at the corner of Hutchinson Drive and La Rue Road. According to an AFSCME 3299 press release, the union stated that UC administration illegally harassed and intimidated service and patient care workers when they struck to advocate for patient safety. “We’re here because of an unfair labor practice. When employees expressed safety concerns, they’ve actually been intimidated and harassed by management to not bring it up. We’re here to express that we’re tired of being harassed for speaking up... ...

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UC Davis groundskeeper recovers lost wedding ring two years later

‘Oh [expletive], I lost my [important belonging]!’ is a common woe on campus. Biking during rush hour and popping in and out of constantly rotating lecture halls makes it easy to leave something behind. According to Tyson Mantor, UC Davis Grounds Supervisor, valuable items are turned in to the police station, while clothing and sporting equipment go to the lost and found at the Memorial Union. Although the grounds department makes an effort to turn in lost articles, many are irretrievably lost. For a Davis professor, one such lost article was returned two years and a miracle later. On a chilly day, Professor Adam Moule of the chemical engineering department took advantage of his wife being out of town and decided to play volleyball with his graduate students on the lawn near Bainer Hall after hours. As the frosty weather began to shrink the fingers of the players, Moule set the ball and watched as his white and yellow gold wedding band slipped up off his finger and into the... ...

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UC Davis biodigester to power campus in January

In January 2014, leftover pasta and other unfinished food from the dining commons will be put to use as the newly established UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (UC Davis READ) converts organic waste into campus electricity. For nearly a decade, Professor Ruihong Zhang of the UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering has been researching the high solids anaerobic digestion technology necessary to create a biodigester. “The successful development of the biodigester facility is a dream coming true for many people, including me and my graduate students and my colleagues around campus,” Zhang said. The facility is currently in its final stages of construction, and extensive planning and collaboration have been imperative to the project’s success. In order to move the anaerobic digestion technology from her laboratory to the commercial scale, Zhang has worked with university facilities, campus departments and Mike Fan, the Waste Program manager, for about eight years. Zhang said that under the leadership of Fan and David Philips, the utilities director, the Facilities Department allocated... ...

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AFSCME 3299 authorizes strike

On Nov. 1, AFSCME 3299, the union for UC service and patient care workers, voted to authorize an unfair labor practice strike over claims that UC management illegally intimidated UC hospital workers who struck in May. The strike vote was authorized with 96 percent of AFSCME 3299 members in favor of striking. AFSCME 3299’s service and patient care workers will participate in a one-day unfair labor practice strike of all 10 UC campuses and five UC medical centers on Nov. 20. The union will be joined by members of the California Nurses Association and UC Santa Cruz’ Skilled Crafts Unit who will participate in a sympathy strike on the same date. Each union has given the UC a 10-day notice of their strike as bound by law. An unfair labor practice strike calls for management to change their actions that are considered to be unfair practice. According to Todd Stenhouse, AFSCME 3299 communications director, the strike authorization was a direct result of alleged threats made by administrators towards UC hospital... ...

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UC Davis to offer marine and coastal sciences major

Collaboration between the Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory and six departments within the Colleges of Letters and Science, Biological Sciences and Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has resulted in the creation of a new marine and coastal sciences major at UC Davis. “This is the first time in UC Davis history that three colleges have come together in the creation of a major,” said Tessa Hill, an associate professor of geology and lead advisor of the marine and coastal sciences major. Because the major involves three colleges, it took approximately a year before it could be approved. Each individual college reviewed the major’s requirements against its own criteria and then sent it to the Academic Senate for approval. Now after a year of evaluation, the marine and coastal sciences major is officially available for sign-up. Development of the program was initiated by increasing student interest in the marine sciences. “The current marine science courses are pretty popular,” Hill said. “But up until now, we couldn’t offer students a degree that focused specifically... ...

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Shields Library to host Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

 With a dulled piece of chalk, a professor scratches a harrowing message across the blackboard for the hundredth time: “Wikipedia is not a credible source.” Almost by default, students know to separate academia from Wikipedia. Yet, Wikipedia is the first place you go to when you need a comprehensive list of “Hey Arnold!” episodes, the discography for a new musical artist you’ve discovered or just to read the plot summary for a movie you never made the effort to watch. On Nov. 15 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Shields Library Instruction Lab will hold a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon workshop. The edit-a-thon aims to teach students how to edit Wikipedia and use library resources to create credible pages. “You don’t have to be an expert in a subject to be a Wikipedia editor,” said Phoebe Ayers, a librarian at the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library on campus. “You just need interest and a willingness to research.” Ayers will lead the workshop. She’s been editing Wikipedia for 10 years, and currently... ...

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UCDPD donates cameras to Tipsy Taxi

Tipsy Taxi, a subsidized unit of ASUCD, plans to install cameras into its vehicles by Winter Quarter 2014. According to Jay Chou, director of Tipsy Taxi, the primary motive for pursuing camera installation is to ensure student safety and to reduce Tipsy Taxi liability. “When our drivers are out there driving Tipsy Taxi vehicles, there’s nothing recording them if they get into an accident or if there’s an incident inside our vehicles,” Chou said. But with the addition of two cameras — one facing inside the vehicle and another facing outside — Chou believes Tipy Taxi’s responsibility for third-party damages will be reduced. Tapes from the recordings will allow for analysis of accidents or dangerous situations in order to determine what went wrong, or who was at fault. In the past, Tipsy Taxi vehicles have experienced hit-and-runs. It is in these cases specifically that cameras are particularly advantageous; they can potentially capture vehicle license plates. That way, Tipsy Taxi will not be held accountable for any vehicle damage that was... ...

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Memorial Union Unitrans terminal to be renovated in spring

Regular Unitrans commuters can expect to see a new, modernized Memorial Union (MU) terminal come fall of 2014, following construction and renovation due to start in the spring. Senior project manager Kurt Wengler invited attendees of an informational meeting to voice their opinions and concerns about the project on Oct. 30. Plans to renovate stem from a concern for safety and sustainability. Unitrans General Manager Anthony Palmere explained that the current terminal’s layout often leads commuters to step off the bus directly onto the street — which is a hazard due to cars, bikes and other buses. The new plan maximizes safety and utility by reversing the flow of traffic to allow riders to exit safely onto a sidewalk, creating three additional spots for buses and adding a new visitor drop-off. Private vehicles will no longer be allowed on the terminal itself, and instead will be forced to turn onto the drop-off zone on Tennis Court Lane. Wengler explained that the terminal will be paved with concrete to accommodate the... ...

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News in Brief: Frat house arson attempt investigation continues

The Davis Police are still investigating an arson attempt at a West Davis fraternity house, Kappa Sigma, on Nov. 3. The arson fire was set around 1 a.m. on Sunday according to Lt. Glen Glasgow of the Davis Police Department (DPD). An unknown suspect or suspects started a natural gas leak and set fire to the house, located at 642 Adams St. According to Glasgow, the incident looks like a deliberate attempt to harm. No one was injured in the incident. An online police log states that someone had turned on all the stove burners in the kitchen and then lit a fire in the bathroom. Residents at the house found the remnants of the fire and detected the smell of gas around 1 a.m. but police were called to the scene around 1 p.m. Glasgow said the DPD doesn’t suspect any malicious intent behind the delay. The DPD has called in the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to aid with the investigation and is working with the... ...

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Napolitano to allocate $15M to student programs

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday that she would immediately allocate $15 million to programs for undocumented students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as one of her first actions in office. During her first major public speech as president at a San Francisco hotel, Napolitano said she will allocate a total of $5 million to support the approximately 900 undocumented students in the UC. The funds will be used for resources such as financial aid, advisers and student service centers for undocumented students. “These Dreamers, as they are often called, are students who would have benefited from a federal DREAM Act,” Napolitano said, referring to the federal legislation that would have granted residency to undocumented students who attended U.S. high schools. “They are students who deserve the opportunity to succeed and to thrive at UC.” Seth Ronquillo, a fourth-year film and linguistics student, co-chair of IDEAS, UCLA’s undocumented student group, and a former Daily Bruin columnist, said the initiative shows she is listening to undocumented students, who voiced... ...

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UC Davis Engineering Startup Center opens

On Oct. 11, the UC Davis Engineering Startup Center opened with a launch event in Ghausi Hall from 3 to 6 p.m. This event was essentially a reception and celebration of the finished Engineering Student Startup Center (ESSC), a center for use by UC Davis students as a platform to launch their entrepreneurial ideas. Bruce White, the director of the Engineering Transitional Technology Center at UC Davis, hosted this event. Some other speakers featured at this reception were Enrique Lavernia, the dean of the College of Engineering, and Lucas Arzola, the founder and CEO of BetaVersity, the company that made the Startup Center possible. BetaVersity, started by a group of UC Davis alumni, specializes in creating spaces and tools to turn ideas into reality. The group shares the common belief that entrepreneurship can solve problems and improve lives throughout the world. “There is simply no substitute for the hands-on experience and student-led initiative that occurs within our beta spaces,” said Blake Marggraff, chief revenue officer for BetaVersity. However, the crux... ...

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UC president visits Davis campus

On Oct. 24, UC Davis student leaders and representatives met with University of California President Janet Napolitano in a closed meeting.  Napolitano spent two days at UC Davis to meet with students, faculty and the administration as part of her listening and learning tour of all the UC campuses. UC Davis students and teaching assistants protested the visit from the newly elected UC president, which began at the Memorial Union and ended at the Welcome Center. Students raised issues and concerns such as the campus climate, retention rates, support for undocumented AB540 students, and lack of student input in many of UCOP’s policies. Napolitano opened the discussion by introducing herself and providing her professional background. She was previously the Secretary of Homeland Security and a two-time governor of Arizona. “I’ve had a lot of experience managing large, complex public institutions,” Napolitano said. “What I can do is the nuts and bolts — how many, how much will it cost, are we attracting students in various fields that we want to... ...

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Bike Barn faces $140,000 deficit

The Bike Barn recently incurred losses that contributed to the $128,000 deficit uncovered by the ASUCD Senate earlier this year. ASUCD’s net operating losses were $118,407 last year. The Bike Barn lost $141,173. These losses can be attributed to accounting discrepancies and investment decisions. “The deficit is definitely not just the Bike Barn’s fault. We have 26 units. A lot of them succeeded last year and some failed,” said ASUCD Vice President Bradley Bottoms. “The Bike Barn did well as a business but at the same time there was a loss.” The losses were due in large part to differences in accounting between the Bike Barn and ASUCD, and a lack of communication about finances. “The process was not followed correctly,” Bottoms said. The Bike Barn business manager has meetings with ASUCD every spring. All units under ASUCD take part in the annual budget hearings in which finances are discussed and unit budgets are determined. “The previous controller and the previous business manager should have caught this,” said ASUCD Controller... ...

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