Law + Policy

Mines to Vines

Ana Paula gingerly crosses a field in southern Angola near her home in the central province of Huambo. She is starving, and across the field drapes a thick curtain of branches on a grove of mango trees, their swollen fruit hanging just within reach. Swollen herself at nine months pregnant, she carefully picks her footsteps, trying to feel for the small metal canisters that keep most of the hungry villagers away from these trees. She reaches toward the dangling fruit under the wide leaves. Read more about Mines to Vines »

Beyond The Silver Bullet

Four years ago, a 55-year-old catholic priest named Father John Corapi set off an FBI investigation that brought down Redding Medical Center’s chief cardiologist and cost Tenet Healthcare, the hospital’s corporate parent, hundreds of millions of dollars in legal settlements. The cardiologist, Dr. Chae Hyun Moon, had told Father Corapi that he needed an emergency triple-bypass operation. But as Corapi was being wheeled into the operating room, another surgeon examined Corapi’s x-rays and could find nothing wrong. His heart was healthy. Read more about Beyond The Silver Bullet »

Connecting Dots And Dollars

Venture capital took root in Northern California thanks to one thing: connections. That web of connections has turned out to be the most powerful renewable resource that California has ever had, spawning a business phenomenon in the late 1980s that relied on private investment and merchant banks, that at its height in 2002 produced 7,812 deals worth $104 billion and made Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park America’s most important startup hub.

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Closer to Home

IMPACT: Main Street USA has been revived, only now it’s called the New Urbanism, and it is shaping new neighborhoods around the world as a friendly, walkable alternative to suburban sprawl. Visionary California architect Peter Calthorpe and a core of Berkeley professors decided in 1988 to push urban planning forward by looking backward. Their deceptively simple concept: neighborhoods made of a dense mix of homes, stores, cafes, and offices clustered around a train or bus station. Read more about Closer to Home »

Green Rules

No state has matched California in using the law to protect and conserve the environment. The spark that ignited the modern environmental movement was undoubtedly the Santa Barbara oil spill of January 1969, an ecological disaster that blackened 35 miles of scenic coastland and killed thousands of seabirds and marine mammals. Californians responded by passing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which required environmental impact review of any development projects within the state, and by pressuring another Californian, President Richard M. Read more about Green Rules »

Teen Doc

Dr. Barbara Staggers ’76, MPH ’80, will never forget the day a teenage boy came to see her at the Oakland Children’s Hospital Teen Clinic and said, “Can you hold me? I’m going to be dead tomorrow.” He was gunned down the next day. He knew that people were after him, says Staggers, “We tried to get him to leave the state, but he refused to go. And the next day he was dead.” Read more about Teen Doc »

From the March April 2008 Mind Matters issue of California.

Delta Dawn

Berkeley engineering professor Ray Seed, arguably the nation’s greatest authority on levees, has one word to describe the risk to the people, farms, and ecological systems dependent on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: Armageddon. A serious earthquake or flood could indefinitely threaten the water supply for 23 million Californians, north and south, and cripple the most productive agricultural region in the world. Read more about Delta Dawn »

From the September October 2008 Sustainable Blueprint issue of California.

Applied Kuhn: The Berkeley/BP Project

It’s too early to tell whether the joint Berkeley-BP project represents a potential scientific and technological paradigm shift, or is a version of the same old paradigm of the automotive sciences. It could become the former. Unfortunately, thanks to its very scale and nature, the project risks becoming the latter—becoming, that is, a roadblock rather than a road to fundamental societal change. Read more about Applied Kuhn: The Berkeley/BP Project »

From the January February 2008 25 Ideas on the Verge issue of California.

What it Was Really Like to Be the First Black Lawyer in Justice Dept’s Civil Rights Division

Thelton Eugene Henderson didn’t study the civil rights movement; he lived it. After earning his law degree from UC Berkeley in 1962, he joined the Justice Department as the first African-American lawyer in its civil rights division. Working with his mentor and fellow Cal grad, John Doar, Henderson traveled often to the South to monitor law enforcement on civil rights cases. He investigated the famous case of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four young girls. Read more about What it Was Really Like to Be the First Black Lawyer in Justice Dept's Civil Rights Division »

From the January February 2008 25 Ideas on the Verge issue of California.

Civil Works for Cynical Times

It’s hard enough to imagine 3 billion trees, let alone plant them, but that’s how many were put in the ground by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Established in 1933, the CCC became one of the most popular of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, which included the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the Public Works Administration (PWA). With the unemployment rate nearing 25 percent at that stage of the Great Depression, the “alphabet soup” agencies stepped in to rapidly create millions of jobs. Read more about Civil Works for Cynical Times »

From the May June 2008 Beijing Primer issue of California.

Wrong Trajectory

International observers have long viewed America’s higher education system, including a cadre of high-quality major research universities such as Berkeley, as one of its most important socioeconomic advantages. As the first nation to pioneer the idea of mass higher education, the United States proved that the talent, training, and creativity of a nation’s citizens are as important for generating economic prosperity as, for example, its natural resources. It was true over the past hundred years, and is much more so now. Read more about Wrong Trajectory »

From the May June 2008 Beijing Primer issue of California.

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