Posts Tagged ‘UC’

A Most Unwelcome Headline for SF’s Giant Law School: UC “Hastings Slips Again in U.S. News List”

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

In-house legal reporter for The Recorder David Ruiz covers all the bases here:

Hastings Slips Again in U.S. News List

1. This is excellent coverage of what I used to consider an under-covered issue, with no paywall to boot. So huzzah for that.

2. The headline is a bit dramatic, but it gets to the heart of the matter. I already knew the new ranking number of 59*, but if I hadn’t, well that hed would have made me think the fall was to 80-something or, Heaven forfend, “Third Tier,” up (or down?) in Triple-Digit Country.

3. I”m not sure if this story is worthy of a general-interest publication, such as the now-frivolous(?) SFGate or the now-paywalled(?)-but-nevertheless-serious SF Chronicle. (Oh, but here’s a person who would be good for both: 3L student and Oak-Town resident Hali Ford on Survivor. That one would write itself. Yowzer.)

4. California law schools don’t appear to be the focus this year, since the punishment meted out by the Great Recession isn’t hitting all the Cali schools in one fell swoop the way it was doing the past few years.

5. I’m thinking maybe this post should have just been a Tweet, but it’s too late now, as I’m done already. Sorry for the nothingburger post. Anyway, here’s what the Tweet would have been, and I’ll repeat it for emphasis: This is excellent coverage of what I used to consider an under-covered issue, with no paywall to boot. So huzzah for that.

*US News appears to simply love it when schools tie in the rankings, so that’s why you’ll see 12 schools in the Top Ten and seven schools tied for 48th place, that kind of thing. It’s a kind of grade inflation for universities. Speaking of which, there’s a lot of pressure on school employees to game the numbers specifically for the US News rankings, so sometimes people get a bit … creative, oh well.

Nothing Escapes the Gaze of this University of California Police Force Security Officer

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Absolutely nothing.

This one’s from the vault, from 2009. But it remains an arresting sight.

(Would you think this woman is a police officer or not? Look closely. I guessed the wrong way.)

As seen in Mission Bay. Click to expand:

IMG_6571 copy

Remember the 1980’s?

retro_mix_40_2007-pet-shop-boys-suburbia copy

I do.

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this dysfunction, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

7J7C0082 copy

See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If, later on, you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down after all these changes so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won’t really affect me, myself, I don’t think. Seems selfish to think now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it’ll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it’s hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project, this tree planting diversion. So, what will the effects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

(more…)

News Release: “Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Statement on the University of California’s Threat to Increase Tuition Fees”

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

It’s on. Here’s Gav’s reply to this recent effort from President Janet Napolitano

***News Release*** – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom statement on the University of California’s threat to increase tuition fees

Contact: Andrea Koskey, Communications Director

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement on the University of California’s threat to increase tuition unless the state appropriates additional funds, thereby breaking its two-year old tuition-freeze agreement negotiated in 2013 in exchange for increased state funding:

The University of California cannot bestow pay raises on its top earners with one hand, while continually taking more from students and their families with the other and deflecting criticism by laying its solution at the door of taxpayers. New funding must be tied to earnest and innovative attempts to reduce the university’s cost structure and promote affordability and accessibility, not threats that reward the status quo.”

Background

The proposed increase to students comes just two months after the same board approved up to 20 percent increases to four chancellors and increased a base salary for a new chancellor by 23 percent of his predecessor. These decisions are not tied to performance or outcomes.

Lieutenant Governor Newsom believes that high-level solutions could be factored in to meet the growing costs.  For instance, UC facilities system-wide could save $500,000 per contract if in-house employment was used over outside contractors; another $160 million could be saved if UC offered an Associate Degree to Transfer Program from California Community Colleges, similar to existing program between community colleges and California State Universities; and millions could be saved if the failed IT implementation of UC Path was addressed. That program’s repayment costs have ballooned to $200 million over the next 20 years.

The University of California system has received numerous increases to financial resources including full funding of State’s Cal grant program; expansion of the middle-income fee grants covering one-half of tuition and fee increases for middle-income students from families earning up to $120,000; 20 percent increase in state funding as part of a multi-year stable funding plan; a 5 percent increase from the 2014-15 state budget contingent a tuition freeze through 2016-17; and $50 million to promote innovative models of higher education at the campus level that result in more bachelor’s degrees, improved four‑year completion rates, and more effective transfers between the community colleges and the universities.

El Camino Update: “AX CAL” – That’s Not Nice

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Poor Cal!

7J7C6140 copy

Oh Ho! Move Over Jeff Adachi, There’s a New PUBLIC DEFENDER in Town – Here’s the University of California’s New Ad Campaign

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Arresting:

Here’s the pitch from this new SFMTA MUNI DPT bus stop ad campaign:

In short, UC kicks ass.

That stupid logo proposal is still being defended for what reason I don’t know, but Life Goes On at the UC.

Boy, the UCSF Laurel Heights Campus is Nothing But a Big Fat Waste of 10 Acres – Let’s Hope This Changes Soon

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

I don’t know when this UC “campus” got built, but just look at what was in fashion back in the day:

Huge empty lawns and huge empty driveways that never get used. What were they thinking? Were these lawns a “gift” to the people of San Francisco? Were they something we wanted or appreciated paying for? IDK.

I could see this place out in the country where there’s plenty of space, but I don’t know what it’s doing in SF.

Anyway, we’ll be enjoying this campus as we walk, ride, and drive by for the next half-decade, it looks like.

And then, who knows.

Ah Berkeley, Nuclear-Free Since 1986, Sort of – Shutting Down the UC Berkeley Nuclear Reactor at 2521 Hearst Ave in 1987

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The More You Know:

University of California officials have decided to shut down a 20-year-old nuclear reactor on the Berkeley campus, saying the “political hassling” it sparked outweighed its usefulness. University of California officials have decided to shut down a 20-year-old nuclear reactor on the Berkeley campus, saying the “political hassling” it sparked outweighed its usefulness.

The gymnasium-sized basement of Etcheverry Hall (Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering) once housed a complete nuclear reactor. It was removed when the City of Berkeley declared itself nuclear-free…”