Well, everything except the oak grove. That’s actually on stable ground (unlike most of Berkeley, go figure). We mean it’s on physically stable ground—which means that its future is on “shaky ground,” because there are no fault lines, so it . . . you know what? Nevermind. We’re just not up for wordplay this morning. Let’s try this again.

The future of the oak grove, which the university looks to replace with an athletic training center (resulting in the ultimate faceoff between jocks and hippies), partially depends on whether the grove lies on any active fault lines.

SF Chronicle reports:

State law prohibits new construction on earthquake faults. In October, the university released a Geomatrix report stating that most of the site was free of fault traces, but because of deep sediment on the site’s northeast corner engineers could not drill deep enough to reach a conclusion. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Geological Survey both said the study needed to be complete.

Turns out that, according to the follow-up study from the engineering firm Geomatrix, it’s not. The university is hoping that this will be sufficient evidence that the stadium’s construction isn’t a violation of the Alquist-Priolo Act, which prevents building on active fault lines.

Granted, this doesn’t mean that the future of the oak grove is at all certain. There’s still the lawsuits, which prevent the university from making physical alterations to the site until after said lawsuits are settled. However, for the protesters who have been sitting in those trees for about six months now, it probably would’ve been pretty nice to hear that they could finally come down.

Of course, some still see fault (no pun intended) with the university for its handling of the matter. In the rustic analogy which seems to be required of lawyers, Stephan Volker said:

(The university) has the cart before the horse. It approved the project without a completely adequate seismic review. The university needs to start over and do the process correctly.

The best advice we have? Get settled in. This conflict won’t be ending any time soon.

Report Finds No Fault Traces at Site of Proposed Athletic Center [Daily Cal]
Earthquake study finds Cal sports center site fault-free [SF Chronicle]


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