bonfire rally

Sadly, Bob Dylan‘s trip to the Berkeley Greek Theater coupled with the absurdly early Big Game date (Oct. 20th, Jesus Christ!) means that the epic Bonfire Rally will not be happening this fall. Apparently, Bob Dylan and various other concert structures are difficult to set up and extremely flammable, leading to a cancellation of fire-laden activities.

UC Rally Committee will attempt to hold an alternate rally at Edwards Stadium, but without the usual awe-inspiring pyrotechnics. Well Cal, if there’s anything worth protesting over, it’s this. Get those picket signs out and start chanting “Freshmen more wood!”

Image source: Sean_Yoda_Rouse under Creative Commons

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” a biblical man once said in some biblical book.

Winter break provided some much needed rest for many of our finals-ravaged students. Some took the break to come down from their Adderall high, while others sipped hot cocoa and made snow angels. However, some didn’t see the holidays as calming as others. For those who feel the need to de-stress by committing felonies (see burning christmas tree), there are other ways to do so this year! With midterms rearing around the corner for many people, here are some new ways to avert your frustration…

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No we don’t think anyone’s accusing us of arson, we just like making Billy Joel references.

Yet another fire broke out this morning at a west Berkeley art gallery, causes not yet known. A few people were dislodged, and a couple firemen were mildly injured – not by the fire but my a resident dog. Not only was it a dog, but it was a Chihuahua. Named Chuco. So the fire wasn’t exactly fatal, and pales in comparison to the Haste/Telegraph fire last fall. But after that fire, the one at Great China and now this one, we are starting to get frustrated. Why does Berkeley insist on being so flammable? read more »

It has been a relaxing, peaceful week at Berkeley, hmmm?

relaxProfessors happily lecturing on their beloved subjects. Squirrels pouncing on each other. Us college folks getting pumped for the Big Game. Pot Food plentiful and smiles warming the air with love and laughter and joy and bright hippie sunshine!

No, we’re kidding. In reality, as we all know, many things of the opposite nature were circulating and electrifying the air. Students were calling loudly for the sake of their education. Classes were being cancelled due to angry faculty. Batons were, in the ever-so-accurate words of the Associated Press, “nudging” protestors and leaving them with bruises, broken ribs and sore spleens. The Haas School of Business experienced an alarming shooting and unexpected death.

And now, just in case all that wasn’t enough, a building on the corner of Telegraph Ave. and Haste St. caught fire Friday evening.

According to the Daily Cal, the fire began at around 8:48 p.m. and the cause of the fire is not yet entirely known.


11:23 p.m. (Taken from Unit 3 Priestley Hall) Beverly Cleary residents were strongly recommended to evacuate the building.


11:42 p.m. Fire is still raging.

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Despite the fact that the image Rally Comm chose for the BONFIRE RALLY!!! Facebook event kind of looks like a crackling inferno, the annual pre-Big Game bonfire rally is generally pretty fun and school spirit-y and overflowing with tradition and not hellish. In fact, it’s supposed to rain. It’s this Friday, November 19, at 7 p.m.

You might want to head up to the Greek Theatre early, though, because it fills up pretty fast and you have to get a ticket. The good news is, you do not have to pay for said ticket, and Facebook event attendance does not often correspond to reality attendance. So there’s that. read more »

flameOK, so that’s an exaggeration. But we were nonetheless shocked to hear that there has been a string of no less than seven fires just south of campus since Friday.

The police suspect arson in all of them, the latest of which took place Monday evening. More are expected tonight. Burned items include trash cans, cars, a Port-A-Potty, a light pole and one of those wooden benches at the Tang Center.

No suspects have been named or described by the police, and Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss offers the following sage insight:

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Unfortunately, we’re not talking about a “you’re on FIRE!” happy situation here. There was an actual fire in Unit 2′s Ehrman Hall at about 5 a.m. this morning.

Thankfully there were no serious injuries, although two students went to the hospital for “minor smoke inhalation.” 100 plus students were evacuated, and some rooms are not readily “habitable” at the moment.

They think the fire was started in a trash chute when something was discarded that “ignited debris in the trash room.” Remember folks: if it glows, it goes!

Image source: >>>WonderMike<<< under Creative Commons
2 injured in UC Berkeley Dorm Fire [KCBS]

True story, bro.

Over the past couple of days local blog InBerkeley has posted not one, but TWO somewhat terrifying visuals of Berkeley succumbing to natural disaster. read more »

fireA multimillion-dollar observatory that was in hot water earlier this week due to the proximity of the Station Fire is now in the clear.

Mt. Wilson observatory in Southern California has been the site of many an astronomical discovery. So researchers were understandably rattled when the massive fire got a little too close for comfort.

It’s possible that the smoke and temperatures from the fire may still have damaged some of the equipment and the observatory and may require some repair. However, we’re sure the researchers will be much happier to return to a lightly-smoked rather than well-done workplace.

Image Source: john curley under Creative Commons
Forest Fire Threatens UC Berkeley Research Operation [Daily Cal]
Mt. Wilson Observatory avoids major damage [LA Times]

Is that a running theme we spy? A vegetation fire in Tilden Park jumped the line and ran wild yesterday, leveling groves of oaks and trampling grandma’s flower beds in its delinquent abandon. The burn was supposed to be controlled. Then it wasn’t. Keep in mind that Tilden Park’s located not three miles from the Berkeley campus.

Luckily, courageous firefighters managed to wrestle the fire into submission around late afternoon. The blaze only consumed about 10 more acres than it was supposed to. No homes, structures or squirrels were harmed in the process.

Image Source: judybaxter under Creative Commons
Wind pushes controlled burn over fire line at park near Berkeley [San Jose Mercury News]

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